Detroit — A federal judge Thursday ordered former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to pay more than $1.5 million to the city’s water department as restitution from the City Hall corruption scandal.
The city, however, is unlikely to collect. Kilpatrick recently said he has 96 cents in the prison bank account and is locked up until 2037.
The order addresses one of the lingering issues stemming from the landmark trial that ended with Kilpatrick convicted of running a criminal enterprise out of City Hall that included steering rigged water and sewer contracts to buddy Bobby Ferguson.
The $1,520,654 restitution bill is a 67 percent break from the $4.5 million U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered following Kilpatrick’s trial in 2013.
The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals threw out the $4.5 million figure and told Edmunds to recalculate the restitution amount.
The $1.5 million figure represents the difference between the amount bid by contractor Lakeshore Engineering on one contract, and the amount the company actually received.
Kilpatrick’s appellate lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, had argued that ordering the former mayor to pay restitution was overly speculative and complex.
The judge, however, pointed to the corruption indictment, which alleged that Kilpatrick and former Detroit Water & Sewerage Department boss Victor Mercado rigged bids and steered work to Lakeshore, which had hired Ferguson’s company as a subcontractor.
The order comes about eight weeks after Kilpatrick, 47, asked the judge to vacate his racketeering conviction and set aside a 28-year prison sentence, saying there was no corruption during his scandal-plagued tenure.
Kilpatrick made the request 13 months after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal.
The ex-mayor is serving the sentence at a federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma, and is representing himself. The disgraced mayor, whose lavish lifestyle and expenses drew attention and scrutiny, says he is destitute.
Kilpatrick recently filed paperwork in federal court alleging he tried to beat up his lawyer during a pretrial dispute.