A federal judge has denied a request by ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to be released on bond while he awaits sentencing. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds [cited] Kilpatrick’s criminal record and history of problems adhering to parole conditions. A federal jury on March 11 found Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson guilty on multiple counts, including racketeering conspiracy.
The former mayor could face up to 20 years in prison for the racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and tax fraud convictions. Kilpatrick's corruption trial "exposed a brazen pay-to-play culture during his years in office, while the distressed city lost jobs and people and veered toward insolvency," noted the Associated Press.
The State of Michigan took over Detroit's government in early March. It is now headed by an emergency city manager appointed by the Republican governor to address the city's financial troubles "including $14.9 billion in long-term debt and pension obligations," reports The Atlantic.
During his scandal-plagued administration, Kilpatrick infamously campaigned for a same-sex marriage ban in Michigan. The former mayor said that he didn't "support equal rights for gays because marriage should be a sacred institution between 'a man and a woman.' " The anti-gay mayor was later outed as a serial adulterer. Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff faced multiple felonies after "tens of thousands of text messages" surfaced, including many sexually explicit ones, that revealed they were having an affair and attempting to payoff witnesses with city funds. This was Kilpatrick's second publicized extramarital affair.
The former mayor's legal woes undoubtedly helped end the career of his mother, one of the biggest names in Detroit politics and one of the LGBT community's strongest supporters on Capitol Hill. Democratic Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick lost her bid for an eighth term in August 2010. Kilpatrick’s mother "offered her Detroit home as collateral to ensure her son shows up to court for sentencing," added the Associated Press. Judge Edmunds still denied bond.
In November 2009, Charles Pugh made history when he was elected Detroit's first-ever openly gay city councilman and the city council president. Pugh became one of the highest profile Black gay men to be elected to office in the nation.
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