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May 21, 2010

Detroit City Council to make a victim impact statement in sentencing of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

This local article, which is headlined "City Council Writing Victim Statement: Council's Statement To Be Read At Ex-Mayor's Sentencing," reports on an intriguing example of victim input in a high-profile sentencing.  Here are the basic details:

Members of the Detroit City Council want their voices heard next Tuesday in the form of a victim impact statement when former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is sentenced for probation violation.

Council members were meeting with attorney William Goodman Friday to draft the statement. Goodman represented the council when it tried to force Kilpatrick from office before he resigned.

Council members said they want the statement, which will spell out the damage they say Kilpatrick has caused the city, to be read before his sentencing in Wayne County Circuit Court next Tuesday morning.

The Michigan Department of Corrections has said it already has finished Kilpatrick's pre-sentencing report.

Last month, Groner ruled that Kilpatrick violated terms of his probation by failing to report assets and turn over tax refunds toward restitution owed the city. Kilpatrick pleaded guilty in 2008 to misconduct tied to his lying under oath about an affair with a staff member in a whistle-blowers' lawsuit. He served almost four months in jail, agreed to give up his law license and his political career and repay the city $1 million for settling an employment lawsuit related to his misdeeds.

He had been making monthly payments of $3,000 while living in the Dallas area and working as a salesman for information-technology company Covisint.

In February, Groner ordered the stepped-up payments of $79,000 within 30 days and another payment of $240,000 within 90 days after a contentious six-day hearing, spanning from October to December -- which was triggered by Kilpatrick’s claim that he had only $6 a month left after living and family expenses in his new home in Southlake, Texas.

During the hearings, prosecutors revealed Kilpatrick and his wife had hidden assets; put money in other accounts, including $240,000 in loans; live in a rented mansion; and drive fancy SUVs....

Kilpatrick's attorney Michael Allen Schwartz has said he doesn't believe Kilpatrick should serve jail time because that would impede his ability to work and pay back the city.

May 21, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

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