Feds: Kilpatrick can pay Detroit less in restitution
Federal prosecutors are requesting that fallen former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pay the city about $116,400 less in restitution stemming from his 2013 City Hall corruption conviction.
Prosecutors argued the restitution amount should be about $1.6 million. But in a brief filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court, they are requesting that a judge order “a slightly more conservative” sum: $1,520,653.50.
“Having re-reviewed the record, Kilpatrick’s arguments, and the Sixth Circuit’s opinion, the government now concedes that the Court should enter a slightly more conservative restitution amount: $1,520,653.50,” prosecutors wrote in their filing.
That figure represents the difference between what the water department paid to Lakeshore Engineering and Kilpatrick’s friend, contractor Bobby Ferguson, on a large contract known as CM-2014, the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit argued. It also was what the water department would have doled out to the contractors who would have won that contract “if not for Ferguson’s and Kilpatrick’s scheme to manipulate the bidding on the contract in Ferguson’s and Lakeshore’s favor,” lawyers wrote.
“After reviewing the record, the government now agrees that the Sixth Circuit’s more conservative calculation is the best approach for determining DWSD’s actual losses ...,” according to the filing.
Kilpatrick, 47, is serving a 28-year prison sentence in El Reno, Oklahoma. In 2013, he was sentenced to one of the longest federal prison sentences for public corruption in U.S. history.
Last year, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Kilpatrick’s conviction for using his position as mayor of Detroit and state House representative to execute a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy involving extortion, bribery and fraud. But the court also held “that the restitution calculation was erroneous and should have been based more specifically on the water department’s loss, rather than on Kilpatrick’s gain,” according to a response filed in U.S. District Court.
Kilpatrick originally had been ordered to pay $4,584,423 in restitution to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, but an appellate court reduced that amount.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who presided over the former mayor’s six-month trial, filed paperwork Monday ordering Kilpatrick to appear for a restitution hearing later this month but on Thursday canceled it, believing it was no longer needed to issue a ruling.
The matter follows Kilpatrick’s most recent bid to overturn his prison sentence and conviction.
This summer, he asked Edmunds to vacate his racketeering conviction and set aside the prison sentence, claiming there was no corruption during his scandal-plagued tenure.
Kilpatrick, who is eligible for release in 2037, made the request 13 months after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his appeal.
The disgraced mayor, whose lavish lifestyle and expenses raised eyebrows, claims he is destitute and has 96 cents in his prison bank account.
Kilpatrick argues he never committed extortion, bribery or racketeering and that his conduct did not constitute an official act.
“At trial, several of (my) subordinates testified that he may have asked them to attend a meeting or make a phone call,” Kilpatrick wrote. “Not a single one of (my) subordinates gave testimony that (I) expected them to do anything other than that.”