Dem Mayor Convicted of Racketeering, Extortion

Kwame Kilpatrick / AP

A federal jury convicted former Detroit Democratic Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on Monday of 24 charges, including racketeering, extortion, attempted extortion, bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and filing false tax returns, according to the Huffington Post.

The five-month corruption trial alleged that Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson ran a criminal enterprise out of Detroit’s City Hall. Prosecutors said the former Detroit mayor, who has already served over a year in prison for perjury, spent $840,000 more during his tenure than he earned. They’ve charged the former 42-year-old mayor with 33 criminal offenses that include charges of tax fraud, bribery, extortion and RICO charges. Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick have also been accused of racketeering charges. …

Among other accusations from the case, federal prosecutors have said that Kilpatrick operated a fund for the needy called the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, with the aim of helping Detroiters in need. Instead, they said, the former mayor used the money for yoga classes, golf clubs and vacations.

They’ve also targeted $84 million in contracts given to Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson. Detroit businessman Tony Soave and other businesspeople with city work say they were forced to hire Ferguson as a subcontractor if they wanted to win city deals. In court, Soave told jurors that Kilpatrick racked up $389,000 in travel on his private plane.