Kilpatrick renews fight against $1.5M restitution bill
Detroit – Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Thursday appealed a judge’s order requiring him to pay $1.5 million restitution to the city’s water department as a penalty stemming from the City Hall corruption scandal.
The appeal comes one week after U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds refused to reconsider an earlier restitution order, writing that Kilpatrick rehashed old arguments and failed to show the order was defective.
The appeal is the latest attempt to shed a big bill awaiting Kilpatrick, 47, once he is released from federal prison in August 2037.
The restitution bill was 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 city, however, is unlikely to collect. Kilpatrick has complained he only has 96 cents in his prison bank account. Public records, meanwhile, show he owes more than $4 million to creditors.
The $1,520,654 restitution bill is a 67 percent break from the $4.5 million 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.