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KILPATRICK SENTENCED

Minister Malik Shabazz (left) and Detroit School Board member Wanda Redmond (right) stood outside the federal courthouse Oct 10, during the sentencing of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.  Although Kilpatrick was found guilty of various crimes, many Detroiters feel his 28-year sentence is too severe and is symptomatic of systemic racial prejudices in the justice system. RALPH JONES PHOTOS

Minister Malik Shabazz (left) and Detroit School Board member Wanda Redmond (right) stood outside the federal courthouse Oct 10, during the sentencing of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Although Kilpatrick was found guilty of various crimes, many Detroiters feel his 28-year sentence is too severe and is symptomatic of systemic racial prejudices in the justice system. RALPH JONES PHOTOS

DETROIT — Last week, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the federal corruption case. Kilpatrick was convicted of extortion, racketeering, conspiracy and fraud charges. Kilpatrick is 43.

“I’m ready to go so the city can move on,” Kilpatrick told the judge during his sentencing. “The people here are suffering, they’re hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for.”

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kilpatrick was elected in 2002. At 31, he was the city’s youngest mayor and served until 2008 when he resigned after a text message scandal.

In January of 2008 the story broke — Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty had lied under oath about their extra-marital affair. The Kilpatrick administration settled a lawsuit that would have kept text messages sealed. Later, both Beatty and Kilpatrick pleaded to obstruction of justice felonies in connection to the text message cover-up.

At the same time, the federal government was investigating the Kilpatrick administration.  In 2010, Kilpatrick was later indicted along with city contractor Bobby Ferguson.

Eighteen Kilpatrick officials have been convicted of corruption.

Ferguson was sentenced to 21 years.

— Staff report

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