Jailed Kwame Kilpatrick: Obey God, not men

Dec. 16, 2010 at 7:18 PM
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DETROIT, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A "moral responsibility" could require someone to "disobey the law," imprisoned former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick or his family said on Twitter Thursday.

"Moral responsibility may compel you to disobey the law," the @KwameAndFamily post on the microblogging Web service said, a day after Kilpatrick, 40, and two top aides were indicted on charges of rigging contracts, collecting millions of dollars in bribes and defrauding taxpayers.

"Is disobedience of the government ever justified?" the Twitter account asked shortly after the 38-count indictment was made public Wednesday.

"We must obey God rather than men," it said a few hours later.

A Kilpatrick spokesman confirmed the Twitter messages were authentic, the Talking Points Memo political blog reported.

Kilpatrick's lawyer said people should not rush to judgment following the indictment.

"Hold the line. Let's wait and see how this plays out. This is not my first circus," Jim Thomas told WJBK-TV, Detroit.

The indictment accuses Kilpatrick's father, Bernard, of collecting kickbacks and contractor Bobby Ferguson of receiving "tens of millions of dollars" for work he either didn't do or received through extortion.

If convicted, each of the five indicted men faces up to 30 years in prison, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said at a news conference.

Fourteen people, including former City Council President Monica Conyers, already pleaded guilty to felonies in the case.

Kilpatrick is in prison for as much as five years for violating probation. He pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resigned as mayor in 2008.

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