Prosecutors seek at least 28 years for Kwame Kilpatrick

Oct. 3, 2013 at 3:27 PM
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DETROIT, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Federal prosecutors, saying former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's corruption cost Detroit millions of dollars, Thursday asked for a sentence of 28 years or more.

In sentencing memoranda filed with a federal judge in Detroit, prosecutors sought a maximum 28-year term for Bobby Ferguson, a longtime Kilpatrick friend and city contractor who was convicted with him, the Detroit Free Press reported. They said Kilpatrick's sentence should receive at least 28 years.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds is scheduled to sentence the pair next Thursday. Kilpatrick's father, Bernard, who was convicted with them of a single tax charge, faces up to two years in prison.

In court documents, prosecutors said Kilpatrick and Ferguson made at least $9.6 million by steering city contracts to Ferguson. That hurt the city, because Ferguson was typically not the low bidder.

The mayor's corruption "meant that many legitimate companies had no shot at winning city work, even though they might have been the lowest, most qualified bidders," prosecutors said.

Reid Schar, who prosecuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich as an assistant U.S. attorney and is now a defense lawyer in Chicago, told the Free Press sentences for corrupt public officials have been getting longer.

Blagojevich got 14 years in 2011 while his predecessor, George Ryan, received a 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption five years earlier.

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