And Obama just gave these thieving bastards 320 million dollars, but our military dead get no funeral or death benefit.
Keep voting for democrats, suckers.
NPR: Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of, among other things, extortion, fraud and conspiracy. During the trial he was accused of running a kick-back scheme that fattened his bank account by tens of thousands of dollars.
Prosecutors: Give Kwame Kilpatrick 28 years in prison for 'astonishing ... devastating' corruption Free Detriot Press, October 3, 2013
When it comes to public corruption, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is the worst of the worst.
That’s what federal prosecutors argued on Thursday in asking a judge to sentence Kilpatrick to at least 28 years in prison for his multitude of crimes — a request that raised eyebrows within the legal community as some experts said Kilpatrick could get the stiffest punishment for public corruption in U.S. history.
The government says he deserves it, noting Kilpatrick’s sentencing guidelines call for up to life in prison.
“Kilpatrick is more culpable — and his conduct more pervasive — than any other public corruption defendant sentenced in recent memory. His guideline range reflects that. So should his sentence,” federal prosecutors wrote in their 57-page sentencing memo.
In pushing for a tough sentence, prosecutors argued that Kilpatrick abused the public’s trust for years, put his own needs before those of the impoverished city he was supposed to serve, and ran a racket out of his office so that he, his family and his longtime contractor friend, Bobby Ferguson, could get rich.
“And worst of all, he did it a city where poverty, crime and a lack of basic services made it one of the most vulnerable metropolitan areas in the nation,” prosecutors wrote. “The scale of his corruption was astonishing. The impact on the region was devastating.”
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds will sentence Kilpatrick and Ferguson on Oct. 10. The government says that Ferguson, a contractor who scored $127 million worth of city contracts while his friend was mayor, “is deserving of a sentence at or near that of Kilpatrick.” It is seeking a maximum 28-year sentence for Ferguson, noting that’s at the high end of public corruption sentences handed down across the country. The range, they said, is between 14 and 28 years.
“Although Bobby Ferguson was not a public official, he worked hand-in-glove with Mayor Kilpatrick in a criminal partnership of enormous proportions,” prosecutors wrote, noting at least $73 million in contracts were awarded illegally to Ferguson. “It was Ferguson, rather than Kilpatrick, who was the ‘boots on the ground’ of the extortion enterprise, directly using threats to the local businesspeople.”
Reid Schar, the federal prosecutor who successfully prosecuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in a 2011 public corruption trial, said the 28-year sentence request for Kilpatrick is noteworthy, but not surprising.
“They’re asking for a significant sentence in a significant case,” Schar told the Free Press on Thursday, noting the courts are growing less tolerant of public corruption and handing out stiffer sentences. “Given the history of public corruption sentences increasing in the last three to five years, this should not come as a surprise.”
Blagojevich, for example, got a 14-year prison sentence in 2011 for, among other things, trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat of now President Barack Obama. In comparison, George Ryan, the Illinois governor who preceded Blagojevich, got a 6½-year prison sentence after getting convicted in 2006 on 18 felony corruption counts.
More recently, and on the higher side, a federal judge in Ohio last year handed down a 28-year sentence to former county Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, who was convicted of racketeering and 32 other crimes. The county auditor in that same case got 22 years; Dimora’s driver got 10 years.
Wayne State University law professor Peter Henning said it’s uncommon to see public corruption sentences of more than 10 years.
“A 28-year minimum would be far beyond the range,” Henning said of the requested sentence for Kilpatrick, adding: “It’s still rare to get 10 years or more, but then again, it’s rare to see this much corruption.”
As for what Kilpatrick could get, Henning said: “I could certainly see a sentence of 20 years.”
Henning also noted that the defense is likely going to ask for a significantly shorter sentence for Kilpatrick.
“And so what happens in these cases is you see a significant disparity, and the judge ends up somewhere in between,” Henning said.
Prosecutors argue a stiff sentence is necessary.
“A very substantial sentence is necessary not only to sufficiently punish Kilpatrick, but to renew public confidence in the rule of law,” they wrote, stressing that Kilpatrick is worse than others convicted of similar crimes.
“Kilpatrick’s widespread and corrosive breach of the public trust ... exceeds even the worst of these state and local corruption cases,” the government wrote. “None of the other public officials disrupted his community as profoundly as Kilpatrick did.”
To bolster their argument, they cited the city’s history bankruptcy filing.
“Kilpatrick is not the main culprit of the city’s historic bankruptcy, which is the result of larger social and economic forces at work for decades. But his corrupt administration exacerbated the crisis,” the government wrote.
Kilpatrick’s lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, declined to comment on the sentencing recommendation. He would only say that for now, he is focused on getting his client a fair sentence and making sure that the judge considers “the whole picture of who he is as an individual” and “the impact that all of this has obviously had on him.”
“I have faith in the judicial system,” said Gurewitz, who will file his own sentencing recommendation in the coming days. “All we can really hope and pray for is that the system works in the way that it’s intended to.”
In seeking a tough sentence, the government argued that one of the key strikes against Kilpatrick was the large amount of money that he helped steer to Ferguson, who, it says, pocketed roughly $9.6 million in illegal profits from crooked contracts obtained through extortion and bid rigging. And Ferguson shared his ill-gotten gains with Kilpatrick, who had more than $840,000 in unexplained expenses that weren’t covered by his mayoral salary, they wrote.
“None of this extra money was disclosed on his tax returns. And it was a bare minimum — just the money and expenditures investigators could identify from his financial records,” the government wrote. “It does not account for any of the cash bribes and kickbacks that Kilpatrick kept or spent outside of his financial institutions.”
The government also argued that Kilpatrick cost the city millions of dollars in losses by steering jobs to Ferguson even though he wasn’t the lowest bidder, which “meant that many legitimate companies had no shot at winning city work, even though they might have been the lowest, most qualified bidders,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors also lambasted Kilpatrick for having a criminal record, which includes his conviction in the text message scandal that cost the City of Detroit $8.4 million, drove him from office and landed him in jail three times, twice for probation violations.
Kilpatrick’s demise came after he testified in a 2007 police whistle-blower trial, when he misled jurors about the firing of a police officer and lied about having an affair with his top aide, Christine Beatty. His testimony was contradicted by text messages published by the Free Press, triggering criminal charges and his eventual guilty plea to obstruction of justice and his eventual resignation in 2008. He also pleaded no contest to assault charges for shoving a police officer off his sister’s porch.
Through it all, the government said, Kilpatrick never felt he did anything wrong.
“Even now, after years of civil and criminal litigation, there is no evidence that Kilpatrick has accepted responsibility for his crimes in office,” prosecutors wrote. “Nor is there any sign of remorse or contrition.”
Throughout the trial, Kilpatrick’s lawyers denied the ex-mayor committed any wrongdoing, arguing he didn’t have as much influence over contracts as the government claimed he did, and that he never steered any work to Ferguson.