Last year, the owner of the home in the gated community was asking $1.1 million before taking it off the market, according to real estate records. (Fizber.com)
Detroit --Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who recently pleaded poverty to prosecutors, moved into a rented $1 million mansion in one of the nation's richest suburbs last weekend.
Just two months after his lawyers claimed he only had $6 left each month, Kilpatrick and his family are leasing a five-bedroom, 5 1/2 -bathroom, 5,886-square-foot custom-built home with a kidney-shaped pool and game room in Southlake, Texas, neighbors confirmed.
Last year, the owner of the home in the gated community was asking $1.1 million before taking it off the market, according to real estate records. Neighbors say Kilpatrick is already making himself known.
"I waved to him, and he waved back," said Stuart Wood, the president of the neighborhood association who lives across the street.
"If you want to escape the limelight and move into a private community with ducks and geese and wildlife, this is the place."
The move came the weekend after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy claimed Kilpatrick hasn't fully disclosed all his assets and demanded to know why Michigan and Texas probation officials haven't charged him with probation violations. On Monday, he made good on a tardy $6,000 payment toward the $1 million in restitution he agreed to pay as part of a plea to end the text-message scandal.
And it comes amid Kilpatrick's appeal to lower his monthly payments, claiming he's barely making ends meet on his $10,000 monthly salary at Compuware subsidiary Covisint. In court papers, Kilpatrick claimed he spends $9,994 a month on basic expenses, including rent, taxes, insurance, car leases and the like.
The total doesn't include some $635,000 in legal bills that were unpaid as of April.
On Friday, Worthy asked Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner for a hearing on Kilpatrick's probation, a request his attorney, Michael Alan Schwartz, called unnecessary.
"We are waiting for a court date from the judge because we know there are a number of issues that need to be investigated and discussed," Worthy said.
Curt A. Benson, a professor at Thomas M. Cooley School of Law in Lansing, said he's not surprised by the move to a new house, but predicted Worthy will seize on it to try to make Texas probation officials keep closer tabs on Kilpatrick.
"Kwame Kilpatrick is a chess player. He was probably thinking 14 moves ahead when he pleaded guilty," Benson said.
The home is the latest example of spending that has raised eyebrows since Kilpatrick left jail in February. After serving 99 days, he flew to Texas in a private, chartered plane to reunite with his wife and three children. His mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, says she paid the cost, believed to be about $13,000.
Also this year, Kilpatrick received a $35,000 2009 Cadillac Escalade as a gift from his wife.
Kilpatrick is leaving a smaller house in Southlake. That home, which cost $2,700 a month in rent and also had a swimming pool, was 2,800 square feet, less than half the size of his new digs.
The new house -- one of 13 on the 10-acre subdivision that sits behind a large gate -- features what online real-estate listings call a "backyard paradise."
Its lawn includes a circular drive, an outdoor kitchen and fireplace and lush masonry. Inside are cathedral ceilings, a kitchen with chiseled-wood cabinets and stone columns.
The home on La Paloma Court is about 1,800 square feet larger than Kilpatrick's former residence, the Manoogian Mansion.
Efforts to reach its owner, corporate adviser and high-tech startup founder Jim Carlisle, were unsuccessful. Wood said Carlisle got a good deal on the house and was looking to lease until finding a buyer. He didn't know the lease payment.
Wood said Kilpatrick's neighbors are friendly and mostly doctors, salesmen and the like.
Also on Monday, Kilpatrick's attorney -- Schwartz -- filed papers disputing several claims Worthy made in court Friday.
He blamed Worthy for Kilpatrick not turning over his pension to the state, asserted that there "is no legitimate basis" for claims the ex-mayor has not disclosed gifts he has received and argued Worthy is overreacting to a problem with a single payment.
"The most predatory, rapacious greedy mortgage lender or credit card issuers would not default a mortgage or credit card holder ... based upon one month's arrearage in payment," wrote Schwartz, who noted that Kilpatrick made his monthly payment early in June.