public corruption

8:45 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Kwame Kilpatrick learns his fate today

 After years of legal, political and tabloid drama, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick finally learns his fate Thursday.

Kilpatrick faces up to life in prison after being convicted of two dozen federal corruption charges, including racketeering, bribery and extortion in March.

Federal prosecutors call the scale of Kilpatrick’s corruption “astonishing” and “devastating,” and argue he should get at least 28 years in prison for his crimes.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:17 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Schuette charges 7 Detroit building inspectors with bribery

Bill Schuette

 7 Detroit building inspectors face charges of accepting bribes, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Thursday.

Schuette said the inspectors, who altogether face 17 felony and misdemeanor counts, violated the public trust.

Read more
8:38 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Why merging Detroit and Wayne County makes sense for both

Jack Lessenberry commentary for 08/19/2013.

Last week, I said merging the governments of Detroit and Wayne County was a sensible solution to both their crises.

This idea was not wildly popular. One woman said I was out of my mind, and added Wayne County “just need(ed) to have their crooks behind bars.”

A more thoughtful man said I was “operating from the usual liberal impulse of having successful entities transfer resources to unsuccessful entities,” something he indicated didn’t work.

Well, that gentleman is right. It usually doesn’t work. That’s what has been happening with revenue sharing.

What I am proposing is creating an entirely new entity, writing a new charter and creating a combined county government. I am not suggesting Wayne County simply absorb Detroit.

Read more
Politics & Government
5:33 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Romulus Police Chief resigns; calls for mayor's resignation, too

Romulus mayor Alan Lambert
Credit via city of Romulus

Romulus Police Chief Robert Dickerson has resigned his job.

He did so in a scathing letter in which he also called on Romulus’s mayor, Alan Lambert, to resign.

Read more
Politics & Government
11:47 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

An historic week in Detroit (not in a good way)

In a weird twist of fate, two remarkable events in Detroit’s recent history are happening at virtually the same time.

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of multiple federal corruption charges Monday. And Governor Snyder is expected to appoint an emergency financial manager within days.

The timing is a coincidence, but there’s some connection between the two events—and a lot of symbolism.

A historic bad week in Detroit

Read more
8:54 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Federal prison isn't former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's only concern

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

Kwame Kilpatrick’s federal racketeering and extortion convictions may mean the former Detroit mayor will not be able to pay the city approximately $850,000 in restitution in another case.

Monday, Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted on more than 20 counts of racketeering. extortion and other charges.   The former mayor faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 

In 2008, Kilpatrick agreed to pay a million dollars in restitution as part of a guilty plea to state obstruction of justice charges. He also served time in prison.

Read more
Politics & Government
4:59 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Former Highland Park emergency financial manager headed for 2013 trial

After years of legal wrangling, Highland Park’s former emergency financial manager will go on trial for alleged embezzlement next year.

A Michigan Supreme Court ruling this week reinstated charges against Arthur Blackwell III.

Blackwell was emergency financial manager from 2005-2008. He’s accused of writing himself $264,000 in checks from city funds.

Read more
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.”

Read more
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.”

Read more
Politics & Government
8:52 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Jury seated for Kwame Kilpatrick's corruption trial

Kwame Kilpatrick

A jury has been seated in the upcoming corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his three co-defendants.

The jury’s racial make-up was a major point of contention during jury selection.

Kilpatrick’s lawyers have argued that a lack of African Americans in the jury pool hurts the ex-Mayor’s chances of a fair trial.

Read more
Politics & Government
6:57 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption trial underway in Detroit

Kwame Kilpatrick

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s public corruption trial officially started in federal court Thursday.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, longtime friend and former city contractor Bobby Ferguson, and former water department head Victor Mercado are on trial together.

Read more
5:35 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

FBI launches anti-public corruption task force in Detroit

The FBI is pulling together a multi-agency task force fight public corruption in the Detroit area.

The task force will include several federal agencies, federal prosecutors, the Michigan Attorney General, the Michigan State Police, and Detroit Police. 

It’s no secret that public corruption is a major problem in our community," said Detroit US Attorney Barbara McQuade.

Read more
6:26 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

7 charged in Romulus police corruption scandal

Kym Worthy announces charges in Romulus police corruption case
Sarah Cwiek Michigan Radio

The Detroit suburb of Romulus is at the center of a massive police corruption scandal that includes the city’s ex-police chief.

Officials say in 2008, a “highly placed” Romulus police official asked Michigan State Police to investigate corruption allegations within the department.

Read more