Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on corruption charges Thursday.
He was convicted in March on 24 counts including racketeering, bribery and extortion connected to pay-for-play schemes involving himself, local businessman Bobby Ferguson, and his father Bernard, both of whom were also convicted on similar charges.
Judge Nancy Edmunds could have given him up to life, or as little as 15 years. “The government has asked for a sentence of 28 years — I believe that is in fact what his sentence should be,” Edmunds said.
Kilpatrick, 43, who became mayor in 2002, was felled when a news investigation into possible corruption revealed text-messages that showed he was having an affair with a city administrator. That led to his resignation and allegations of strong-arming contracts toward Ferguson, while living lavishly off city funds.
Appearing sullen in court, Kilpatrick acknowledged his mistakes, and also acknowledged the immense trouble Detroit is experiencing through its bankruptcy. “I want the city to prosper. I want the city to be great in the end. I want the city to have the same feeling it did in 2006. when the Super Bowl was here,” he said. “Everybody felt like this was their town.”