Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison Thursday, seven months after he was convicted of public corruption in federal court. It marks the end to another chapter in the saga of Kilpatrick, who was elected mayor of Detroit at the young age of 31.
Once mentioned as a possible candidate for president later in life, Detroit's "hip-hop mayor," now 43, is generally credited as one of America's worst mayoral leaders of the past decade. The former Detroit mayor's sentencing recommendation called for at least 28 years to life for Kilpatrick, who prosecutors say robbed the City of Detroit of millions through criminal enterprises when it was at its most desperate.
It's "equal to the longest sentence" for corruption ever handed down to a public official, said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade after the sentencing was announced. Judge Nancy Edmunds, who announced the sentence Thursday, said that it was important to look at the entire history of the defendant, noting that Kilpatrick's numerous convictions regarding criminal enterprise were drawn from crimes committed during his entire six-year tenure as Detroit mayor, and possibly even during his time in the Michigan Legislature. It was also important to consider the enormity of the investigation — Edmunds said 34 other people have been convicted for crimes pertaining to Kilpatrick.