Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, Guilty of RICO
(AllHipHop News) Former Detroit Mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, once dubbed "The Hip-Hop Mayor," was convicted today of 24 out of 30 federal counts of corruption.
With what is being called a "classic RICO case," Kilpatrick has been found to have been conducting a criminal enterprise during his tenure as mayor of Detroit from 2001 to 2008.
According to The Detroit Free Press, witnesses told of Kilpatrick’s lavish lifestyle — complete with luxury vacations, custom-made suits and golf outings.
After five months of testimony, 80 government witnesses, text messages and secret video and voice recordings, the jury convicted Kilpatrick on 24 of 30 counts. It acquitted him on three counts and failed to reach a verdict on three others.
The newspaper also stated that the former mayor shook his head as the verdict was being read and appeared stunned. Also convicted was Kilpatrick's friend, a contractor named Bobby Ferguson and the former mayor's father, Bernard Kilpatrick.
Kwame Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit in 2001 with the support of numerous Hip-Hop artists.
Russell Simmons dubbed the-then 31-year-old, "The Hip-Hop Mayor" due to his youth and charisma. The title proved to be, at times, to be a hinderance. The former mayor was often derided for his diamond stud earring and his "two-way pager."
Kilpatrick's legal troubles began while in office for his second term when, in 2008, he pled guilty to obstruction of justice and publicly declared that he had lied under oath in a whistleblower trial brought by two ousted former police officers.
The federal charges were brought against Kilpatrick and others after a long-term FBI investigation revealed with the government called a "pattern of extortion, bribery, and fraud," resulting from the rigging of city contracts and the mismanagement of the publicly-funded Kilpatrick Civic Fund, which was supposed to help youth.
Yet to be sentenced, the now-disgraced former mayor faces up to 20 years in prison.