Although former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has spent the last nine months in Grand Prairie, Texas since his release from prison, the case that has marred his political career has not gone away. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors disclosed a significant portion of their public corruption case against Kilpatrick that includes some 369,804 text messages sent during his tenure.
In 2008, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice after lying to cover up an extramarital affair with his chief of staff. As a plea bargain with the judge he resigned as mayor and promised pay restitution to the city of Detroit. In 2010, he was sent to prison for 15 months for failing to disclose assets and surrender sufficient funds to pay the restitution he owed the "Motor City."
According to federal prosecutors, these new text messages between Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, his friend, contractor Bobby Ferguson, and the city’s former water department director, Victor Mercado reveal the existence of a racketeering conspiracy. Grand jury indictments have charged the men with dozens of counts alleging that they committed fraud, extortion, bribery, dodged taxes, and turned city hall into a criminal enterprise. If convicted, the men face up to 30 years in prison.