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Prosecutor: Kilpatrick consumed by greed

Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:51 PM   |   Comments

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DETROIT, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was depicted as a man consumed by greed in closing arguments by a federal prosecutor in Kilpatrick's corruption trial.

U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta argued Monday Kilpatrick's greed became more important than the citizens of Detroit, and Kilpatrick unlawfully used the mayor's office to enrich himself, his family and his friends.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson are accused of conspiracy to enrich themselves through contract rigging. A fourth suspect, former water department director Victor Mercado, pleaded guilty to conspiracy during the trial, and awaits sentencing.

In a two-hour summation of the government's case, Bullotta repeatedly stressed the attitude of the defendants as "No deal without me," the Detroit Free Press reported.

"That was their mantra. Those were their words," Bullotta said, pointing out Kilpatrick steered work to Ferguson by fostering a climate of fear in Detroit's contracting community and forcing firms to include Ferguson or risk losing work.

Ferguson made $84 million in crooked contracts while Kilpatrick was mayor, Bullotta said, finishing with a request to the jury to send a message that public corruption should not be tolerated.

The defense gets to sum up Tuesday.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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