Kwame Kilpatrick

2:36 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Jury deciding whether Kilpatrick met the definition of extortion

Lead in text: 
The jury is in its fourth day of deliberations in the Kwame Kilpatrick public corruption trial. The Detroit Free Press takes a look at what the jurors are grappling with. The biggest charge against the three is violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Kwame Kilpatrick's lawyer argued throughout his public corruption trial that the former Detroit mayor never demanded anything from anyone. Defense attorneys argued the same for his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, saying he never demanded anything from businessmen who were trying to land city deals -- and he even got stiffed by some of them.
Law
11:33 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Kilpatrick trial wrapping up this week

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Michigan Radio

I wonder if there will be any Kwame Kilpatrick stories in 2014.

For those keeping an eye on this story... the trial is wrapping up this week.

DETROIT (AP) - Kwame Kilpatrick's wife and children have joined him for closing arguments in the former Detroit mayor's corruption trial.

On his Facebook page, Kilpatrick says he's "blessed" to have his "squad" in the courtroom. He says Tuesday is a "victory day."

Kilpatrick's attorney, James Thomas, is speaking to jurors.  Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and city contractor Bobby Ferguson are charged with conspiring to rake in cash through rigged contracts, bribes and other criminal acts.

Prosecutors gave their closing argument Monday, describing Detroit city hall as a "private profit machine" with Kwame Kilpatrick at the wheel.

The jury will also hear from Bernard Kilpatrick's attorney Tuesday. The last arguments from Ferguson's lawyer will be heard Thursday.

Politics & Government
7:12 am
Mon February 11, 2013

This mornings news: Detroit crime, Kilpatrick trial and gun buybacks

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Arrests down as violent crimes rise in Detroit

Even though violent crime is up in Detroit, less people are getting arrested, the Detroit News reports.

"The fourth quarter of 2012 saw significantly fewer arrests in most precincts and districts compared with previous years — and the largest declines were in some of the city's most crime-ridden areas. . . Some inside the Detroit Police Department blame low officer morale."

Kilpatrick trial to wrap up today

"Courtroom proceedings in ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s federal corruption case should wrap up today. Prosecutors spent months making a painstaking case against Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, and longtime friend and city contractor Bobby Ferguson. The government says the men ran Detroit city government like a criminal enterprise for years. They all face a number of federal charges, including conspiracy and extortion," Sarah Cwiek reports.
 

Lansing police gun buyback collects 122 firearms

"Lansing police say their latest gun buyback program has brought in 122 firearms. The Lansing State Journal reports that people turned in 73 handguns, 47 long guns and two assault or military style guns," The Associated Press Reports.

Politics & Government
2:24 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Judge refuses to dismiss, Kilpatrick trial headed for closing arguments Monday

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A judge has refused to dismiss corruption charges against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, clearing a path for the trial's closing arguments Monday.

A request for acquittal before jury deliberations is a standard move in a criminal case but rarely granted. Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds kept the government's case intact Friday, although prosecutors on their own trimmed some of the many charges.

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Politics & Government
7:54 am
Wed February 6, 2013

The week in Michigan politics

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Week in Michigan politics interview

In this week in Michigan politics, Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss Governor Rick Snyder’s upcoming budget address, the final days of the Kwame Kilpatrick trial, and how 200 administrators in Grand Rapids Public Schools got pink slipped.

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Politics & Government
4:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

The end is near for Kilpatrick's public corruption trial

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Michigan Radio

Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds stated that Wednesday will be the final day of testimony in the corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, and city contractor Bobby Ferguson.

This will mark the end of a week of  testimony for the defense after 63 days of arguments and testimony led by prosecutors, since the trial began in September.

The AP reports that jurors were sent  home early Tuesday after the defense had no witnesses to call to the stand because of illness and other conflicts.

The three face a range of charges including extortion, bribery, racketeering, and fraud  while Kilpatrick was mayor of Detroit.

Kilpatrick's defense lawyers have argued that he received money through monetary gifts and donations made by friends and mayoral staff.

Closing arguments are planned for Monday.  If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison.

Politics & Government
10:13 am
Mon January 28, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

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Good crowds at this years' Detroit auto show

Another North American International Auto Show has wrapped up, and ticket sales were up yet again. The show drew more than 795,000 people, the best crowd since 2004 according to Chevy dealer and NAIAS committee member Scott LaRiche.

"We have seen an actual spring board over the last few years, and we're slowly climbing up there towards that 800,000 mark, and realistically,if you look at it from the standpoint of the media that attended, over 5,500 media, we did break the 800,000 mark," said LaRiche.

Now the car companies are on to the Chicago for that cities auto show.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's trial continues after weekend jail stay

The Kilpatrick corruption trial continues after the former Detroit mayor had to spend the weekend in jail on a separate matter. From the Associated Press:

Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been released after spending the weekend in prison for violating parole in a 2008 conviction that booted him from office.

The Michigan Corrections Department says Kilpatrick violated parole by not disclosing all financial transactions last fall. He still owes Detroit $855,000 in restitution and must report details about his income and expenses.

Kilpatrick will go from jail to federal court where the corruption case against him and several of his associates has been going on since September.
  Toyota is King again
  The Detroit News says so:
  Now it's official: Toyota is once again the world's top automaker. 

Toyota Motor Corp. released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year Monday at a record 9.748 million vehicles — a bigger number than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million vehicles.It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as the Detroit-based automaker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles.

 GM first lost their top-selling title to Toyota in 2008, then GM regained the title in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. 2012 showed that Toyota is up and running again.
  Since we're talking about this horse race, we should note that Volkswagen is close behind as the world's third largest automaker.

Law
11:10 am
Sat January 26, 2013

Ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick back in jail this weekend

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (file photo)
Michigan Radio Newsroom

DETROIT (AP) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is behind bars for the weekend for violating parole in a 2008 conviction that bounced him from office.

Kilpatrick reported to a Michigan Corrections Department facility in Detroit on Friday afternoon. He'll remain locked up there until Monday when he returns to federal court where he's on trial in a separate matter.

His dinner choices are baked fish or bean patty.

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Law
11:53 am
Sat January 12, 2013

State probing other cash sent to ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick (file photo)
Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been told to give up the names of people who wired him $4,000 he failed to disclose to the state.

Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan told The Detroit News Friday that Kilpatrick didn't tell officials about the money until Thursday - the same day he was fitted with an electronic tether for not disclosing another $2,000 sent last month from a Chicago pastor.

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Law
10:33 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick ordered to wear tether, live with mom

Kwame Kilpatrick (file photo)
Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Michigan prison officials have ordered ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to wear an electronic tether and live with his mother while they investigate his receipt of an unreported $2,000 gift from a Chicago pastor.

He's on parole for a 2008 state conviction for obstruction of justice and could be sent back to prison. He's now on trial on federal corruption charges.

Kilpatrick owes $800,000 to Detroit and must report his income.

He received a $2,000 wire transfer in December from the Rev. Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church.

Read more
Politics & Government
10:09 am
Mon November 26, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines...

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Governor Snyder talking trade in Canada today

With a momentum building for a new international bridge spanning the Detroit River after Michigan voters rejected a ballot proposal aimed at delaying the project, Governor Snyder is in Toronto today to attend a conference on public-private partnerships.

MPRN's Rick Pluta reports:

The governor is expected to announce an agreement with other Great Lakes states on a Canadian trade office. Canada is Michigan’s biggest international trading partner. The governor’s economic plans envision a thriving Chicago-to-Montreal trade zone with Michigan as a center point.

Snyder is also expected to meet with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Both are expected to meet with the press afterward.

Detroit seeks to avoid cash crises

Last week, the Detroit City Council rejected a proposed contract with the law firm Miller Canfield. The firm was hired to counsel Mayor Bing on the city’s financial stability agreements.

The 'no' vote led to an impending cash crisis because the state said the city could not access $30 million in bonds to cover debt.

Mayor Bing announced furlough days for city workers would be coming as a result.

The Detroit News reports city council will review their decision today.

Day 28 of the Kwame Kilpatrick trial

The public corruption trial of the 'Kilpatrick Enterprise' resumes today after a week long break.

The Detroit News reports Avinash Rachmale is on the witness stand.

A Detroit businessman will spend a third day describing threats and extortion demands by ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s close friend and co-defendant in the City Hall corruption trial... The Lakeshore Engineering Services founder has told jurors of $1.7-million payouts to Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson for no-show work. The money was part of a series of extortion payments Rachmale allegedly paid to keep Ferguson happy, protect city deals and help ensure future city contracts.

Both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press are live-blogging the trial.

Politics & Government
5:05 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Member of "Kilpatrick Enterprise" pleads guilty to conspiracy

Victor Mercado

Detroit’s former water department head has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge.

Victor Mercado had been a co-defendant in ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s ongoing public corruption case.

Mercado is one of the four people who, along with the former mayor, his longtime friend Bobby Ferguson, and father Bernard Kilpatrick, made up the alleged “Kilpatrick Enterprise.”

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Detroit
12:21 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Mercado pleads guilty in Kilpatrick corruption trial

12:21 p.m.

More on Mercado's guilty plea from the Associated Press:

The former head of Detroit's water department has pleaded guilty, six weeks into a corruption trial that also involves ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Victor Mercado's surprise guilty plea to conspiracy occurred Monday. The trial is in recess until next week because of a lawyer's illness.

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10:27 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Witness testifies how he kept money flowing to the Kilpatricks

Lead in text: 
An update on the public corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his dad, his friend Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit Water and Sewerage director Victor Mercado.
When Kwame Kilpatrick needed money, wealthy homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford always delivered. Rutherford told jurors in the ex-mayor's public corruption trial Thursday that he helped bankroll Kilpatrick's political campaign, his lifestyle and his father's $10,000-a-month salary to the tune of more than $440,000 over a two-year period.
Law
11:53 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Kilpatrick trial resumes; ex-lawmaker is witness

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - After a day off, the corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has resumed with a former state senator in the witness chair.

Prosecutors on Thursday asked former Senate Majority Leader Dan DeGrow about approving state grants in 2000 when Kilpatrick was a member of the House.

The government alleges that Kilpatrick illegally funneled tax dollars to his pal, Bobby Ferguson. Kilpatrick, his father, Ferguson and the city's former water boss are charged with a racketeering conspiracy and other crimes.

The government's main claim is that Kilpatrick received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash through bribery, extortion and other methods when he was mayor, from 2002 to fall 2008. He resigned four years ago in another scandal and now lives in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Politics & Government
8:46 am
Wed September 26, 2012

The week in Michigan politics

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Every Wednesday Michigan Radio's Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about what's been going on in the news when it comes to Michigan politics. This week they talked about a Michigan family's request to release a Marine Veteran imprisoned in Iran in order to see his ailing father in Flint, where the state's incarceration system stands when it comes to inmates releases in Genesse County and Attorney General Bill Schuette's stance on juvenile lifers, and the Kwame Kilpatrick trial.

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The week in review

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Every Saturday Rina Miller talks with Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry about some of the biggest stories in the week's news. This week they talk about Michigan Farm Bureau endorsing Democrat Debbie Stabenaw for the US Senate race, the Kwame Kilpatrick trail and the slew of art story headlines seen this week.

Politics & Government
10:58 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Government: Kilpatrick government rife with "extortion, bribery, fraud"

Day one of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s federal public corruption trial wrapped up Friday.

The government says Kilpatrick and his three co-defendants were part of a conspiracy to commit “extortion, bribery, and fraud.”

US Attorney Mark Chutkow began opening arguments with excerpts of text messages between Kwame Kilpatrick and his co-defendant, longtime friend Bobby Ferguson.

Some of those messages read: “It’s my time to get paid” and “No deal without me.” Federal prosecutors say that sums up the so-called “Kilpatrick Enterprise.”

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morning news roundup
7:22 am
Fri September 21, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

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Kilpatrick trail starts today in Detroit

"A judge has denied former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s request to move his trial out of Detroit. The request for a change of venue was considered a long shot by most legal experts. Kilpatrick and his three co-defendants’ lawyers argued that media coverage of the trial had become “radioactive.” They said there was no way the defendants could get a fair trial in Detroit. But Judge Nancy Edmunds dismissed those claims, saying there was no evidence of “presumptive prejudice” on the jury’s part. Opening arguments are set for Friday. Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, former city contractor and longtime friend Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit water department head Victor Mercado face a host of federal corruption charges. The federal government alleges the four men formed a kind of criminal gang—the so-called “Kilpatrick Enterprise.” An indictment accuses them of using that enterprise to “financially enrich themselves” through various schemes, including fraudulent water department contracts and a phony non-profit organization," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Stabenow endorsed by right-leaning Michigan Farm Bureau

"Michigan Republicans are doing without a key supporter in 2012. The right-leaning Michigan Farm Bureau is endorsing Democrat Debbie Stabenow for another U-S Senate term. Stabenow is running against former U.S. Congressman Pete Hoekstra. Stabenow is ahead in most voter polls," Mark Bashore reports.

Pledge of Allegiance bill sent to Snyder's desk

"Michigan is a step closer to joining the 43 other states that require students at public schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day. The state Senate passed the bill yesterday and sent it to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk. Supporters say it will help to instill a sense of patriotism in students. But a handful of Democrats say it’s a political move and a distraction. Another measure would require all classrooms to have a flag on display," Jake Neher reports.

Politics & Government
12:29 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Opening arguments in Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption case Friday

A jury will hear opening arguments Friday in former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s public corruption trial.

Kilpatrick is on trial with his father, Bernard; longtime friend and former city contractor Bobby Ferguson; and former Detroit water department chief Victor Mercado.

The federal government alleges the four men formed a kind of criminal gang—the so-called “Kilpatrick Enterprise.”

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