"Kilpatrick Enterprise" arraigned in court today

Jan 10, 2011

Prosecutors have dubbed the five men accused of pocketing millions of dollars in exchange for contracts with the city of Detroit the "Kilpatrick Enterprise."

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted in federal court today, along with Kilpatrickā€™s father, Bernard Kilpatrick; former city contractor Bobby Ferguson; former Detroit Water Department head Victor Mercado; and former city official Derrick Miller.

The Detroit News reports that Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, had a "not guilty" plea entered on his behalf. The other four men (Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson, Victor Mercado, and Derrick Miller) all stood mute resulting in the judge entering a "not guilty" plea for the men.

Kwame Kilpatrick has been serving time in a federal prison in Milan on probation violation charges.

The Detroit News reported on the scene in the court today, saying Kilpatrick appeared in a suit and tie:

Kilpatrick was dramatically thinner than in past appearances and wore a bushy beard. He was animated in court, blowing kisses to his sister, who sat in a row next to her father, Bernard Kilpatrick. He entered the courtroom while his father was being arraigned. At one point, father and son embraced, which they quickly broke off as a deputy U.S. Marshal approached to break it up. After sitting back down, Kwame Kilpatrick scanned the courtroom gallery, mugging to his supporters and mouthing greetings.

The News reports Kilpatrick "allegedly received more than $590,000 in cash from the conspiracy, which he spent paying credit card bills, buying clothes, repaying loans and purchasing cashier's checks."