Bernard Kilpatrick seen going to federal court in Detroit in January 2013. (David Coates / The Detroit News)
Bernard Kilpatrick has checked himself into a Texas prison months after being sentenced on a single tax charge in Detroit’s historic corruption case.
The father of disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is being housed at FCI Seagoville — “a low security federal correctional institution with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp and a detention center,” according to its website — in Seagoville, Texas.
Kilpatrick has a listed release date of Feb. 2, 2015.
In October, Kilpatrick, 72, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on the tax charge after a jury failed to reach a consensus in March on whether Kilpatrick had participated in the most sweeping of the government's corruption charges. The jury convicted him only for failing to declare $180,000 in income.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds had said she would recommend Kilpatrick serve his time in a Texas prison starting after Jan. 1.
Edmunds said during sentencing that evidence during the six-month trial showed Kilpatrick played an active role lining up clients and pocketing thousands for "consulting" work he rarely performed — and which was given to him solely because his son was mayor.
His attorney, John Shea, had sought probation or the shortest possible prison term. Edmunds gave him the minimum prison term suggested by his crimes. He could have gotten up to 21 months.
Kilpatrick's sentencing marked another milestone in the City Hall corruption case. More than a dozen officials and vendors were convicted and some await sentencing.
Kilpatrick, a onetime chief of staff for former Wayne County Executive Edward McNamara, was accused of creating a consulting business, Maestro Associates, that would cash in on his son's mayoral administration. Trial evidence showed he met regularly with his son and others and numerous city vendors paid him more than $1 million between 2002 and 2007.
During a minute-long speech at his sentencing, the one-time Wayne County commissioner said he alone "messed up" and that his life has changed dramatically since he was caught up in the investigation seven years ago.
"My life was turned upside down," he said. "I brought misery to my family and my friends ... this experience really has humbled me.
"Bottom line: I messed up, no question about it."
During the trial, jurors heard him on secret audio and video recordings working vendors and city insiders on deals that netted him fat paychecks. But jurors were hung on whether he was part of the "Kilpatrick Enterprise" that led to a 28-year sentence for Kwame Kilpatrick and a 21-year sentence for contractor Bobby Ferguson. Both Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson remain in prison in Milan.
As part of his sentence, Edmunds also ordered Bernard Kilpatrick to repay $62,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.