Spoiled and irresponsible, Kilpatrick was handed prestigious, six-figure jobs his entire life due to shady family connections in politics. His mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, is a Congresswoman for Michigan's 13th District. His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, served as chief of staff to former Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara.
Kilpatrick immediately succeeded his mother in the Michigan State House of Representatives when she vacated the seat to run for Congress. Kilpatrick was only 26 years old at the time. During his time in the Michigan State House of Representatives, Kilpatrick received a JD from third tier Michigan State University College of Law. Yep, another reminder that a TTT degree is useless unless you have the connections to get you a law firm or political job. Five years after being elected to the House of Representatives, Kilpatrick would become the youngest mayor of Detroit at the age of 31.
I really don't know what he did during his first term as mayor of Detroit, but everything that I've read has been bad. According to Wikipedia, he closed the century-old Belle Isle Zoo and Belle Isle Aquarium. An Associated Press article reveals more into some of the crimes that he and his family committed while he was in office:
Brash and arrogant, Kilpatrick was criticized during his first term for improperly using city credit cards to pay pricey restaurant tabs. It was later revealed that his wife used a city-leased vehicle for her personal use. Each time, he asked for his constituents' forgiveness, and he came from behind to win re-election in 2005.
This is video of Kilpatrick's mother stumping for him during his re-election campaign. I guess we can see where he got his brashness and arrogance.
Another article by the Associated Press stated that Kilpatrick charged at least $210,000 on his city-issued credit card during the first 33 months of his first term. I don't think anyone needs to be reminded that Detroit is cash strapped and one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in the United States. This idiot wasted money on cars and vacations when kids in that city are falling victim to senseless violence everday. The most recent story that made national headlines was a 7-year-old girl who was shot to death by the Detroit Police while she slept. Awful.
This man is involved with so many controversies and crimes that I don't have the time to list them all in one post. You can go over to Wikipedia again and read about Kilpatrick's wild Manoogian Mansion party and his connection with the murder of an exotic dancer who attended the party in 2002. You can also read about the whistleblower trial and the text-messaging scandal that finally ended his "career" in politics.
To make a long story short, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by committing perjury in connection with an investigation into sexual text messages he had sent his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty. He was supposed to have paid the city of Detroit a million dollar fine. Instead, he refused to pay the required monthly restitution payments and has been living it up in a Texas mansion and working (yes, a convicted felon who stole possibly millions from Detroit can find work and we can't) at Covisint, a Texas subsidiary of Compuware.
Yesterday, Kilpatrick was sentenced to 18 months to 5 years in prison. Kilpatrick has abused the legal system long enough and deserves his punishment, but I'd much rather see him pay the citizens of Detroit the million dollars they so desperately need to rebuild the city. Shame on you, Kwame!