Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick continues to garner nationwide headlines, much to the chagrin of southeast Michigan. On Monday, Detroit’s newspapers were reporting the FBI is close to charging Kilpatrick under RICO, the Federal Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. The on-going Federal investigation has kept many people employed in metro Detroit. The Feds have said they suspect Kilpatrick was running a criminal enterprise, which allows them to pursue charges under RICO. Their key piece of evidence is testimony from former Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado. He supposedly told investigators that he gave Kilpatrick $100,000 and gave another $290,000 to Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard, for access to Cobo Center deals.
Kilpatrick has long been suspected of corruption and the FBI investigations in Detroit has been its own little Stimulus project, providing Federal jobs for quite a few people. Kado apparently has provided sworn statements detailing payments to the Kilpatricks. The scandal includes Cobo Center directors Lou Pavledes and Glenn Barton. Kado and Paveledes’ lawyer also implicated Bernard Kilpatrick. To date, the Federal investigation has impacted the following:
- Karl Kado—Cobo contractor; pleaded guilty to falsifying tax returns; sentencing in March 2010
- Lou Pavledes—Cobo director; pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Kado; 14 months in prison
- Glenn Blanton—Pavledes’ successor as Cobo director; pleaded guilty to taking bribes from Kado; 1 year in prison
- James R. Rosendall Jr—Synagro Technologies VP; sentenced to 11 months for bribery
- Rayford W. Jackson—Synagro’s Detroit partner; sentenced to 5 years for bribery
- Monica Conyers—Detroit City Council member and wife of US Rep. John Conyers; cast the deciding vote in favor of Synagro’s $1.2 billion sludge contract; pleaded guilty to accepting $6,000; sentencing scheduled 10 March
- Jerry Rivers—Detroit Police Officer, member of the mayor’s executive protection unit; pleaded guilty to bribery in connection with the sale of city land; sentencing scheduled 11 March
- Kandia Milton—Kilpatrick’s childhood friend and a top mayoral aid; pleaded guilty to bribery in the sale of Camp Brighton; sentencing 18 March
- DeDean Milton—Kandia’s brother; pleaded guilty to bribery in connection with 2 city land deals; sentencing 13 May
- Sam Riddle—fomer aide to Monica Conyers and political consultant; awaiting retrial after a hung jury on charges of conspiracy and extortion; pending trial on separate charges of bribery in Southfield
- Mary Waters—Riddle’s former live-in companion; also charged in the Southfield bribery case; trial date set for 01 June
- William Lattimore—Southfield City Councilman; pleaded guilty to taking a bribe from Riddle in connection with a pawn shop relocation; sentencing 11 March
As if that’s not enough, Kilpatrick was short $38,778 in restitution of the $79,011 that was due Friday, 19 February. One of Kilpatrick’s laywers said he didn’t know the source of the $40,000 payment that did not come from Kilpatrick himself. Michael Alan Schwartz suggested the money came from “wamrhearted people who wanted to help out.” Bill Ballenger, editor of the Inside Michigan Politics newsletter had this to say.
One can be impressed or cynical about the level of political power the man still commands. This could be peple who really care about him, and it could be people who fear his power if things get worse. And then again, it might be a further scheme to hide his own money coming in as donations from others.
Funny; that’s the same conclusion Drew and Mike came to on WRIF radio.
Judge David Groner ordered Kilpatrick to be in court at 9 AM, Friday, 26 February, for arraignment on probation violations. Groner also opened the door for prosecutors to raise concerns about other probation violations.
Previously on Kwamegate: