Kilpatrick aide pleads guilty, to testify

Sept. 12, 2011 at 8:25 PM

DETROIT, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A former aide to Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to corruption and tax offenses and agreed to testify against the former Detroit mayor, court records show.

Derrick Miller, one of Kilpatrick's closest friends, entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in downtown Detroit. As part of his plea, Miller will cooperate in the case against Kilpatrick, and federal prosecutors said they would consider recommending a lighter sentence based on his cooperation, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, Miller, contractor Bobby Ferguson and former head of Detroit's water and sewerage department Victor Mercado were indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly using the city's contracting system to divert millions in public funds into their own bank accounts.

Miller pleaded guilty to one count of a federal funded program violation, punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and one count of making a false statement in a tax return, punishable by as much as three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow recommended a 10-year prison sentence for Miller in exchange for his guilty plea, but Miller is asking for a 41- to 51-month sentence in return for his plea and cooperation, the Free Press reported.

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