Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption that turned city hall into a pay-to-play parlor.
Kilpatrick was convicted earlier this year of two dozen crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery and extortion. There was evidence of shakedowns, kickbacks and strong-arm tactics to reaped tens of thousands of dollars and other benefits from people who wanted city business.
The sentence was a victory for prosecutors, who had recommended Kilpatrick serve at least 28 years in prison, while defense attorneys argued for no more than 15 years.
Kilpatrick quit office in 2008 after a different scandal involving sexually explicit text messages and an extramarital affair. The 43-year-old Democrat served as mayor for nearly seven years.
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The most significant public corruption case in Detroit history is closing with a sentence for former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick is bracing for a long stretch behind bars. His lawyers hope the judge doesn't order more than 15 years Thursday, although prosecutors are seeking at least 28 years in prison.
Kilpatrick was convicted of two dozen crimes last spring after prosecutors presented evidence of bribes, kickbacks and unreported income. Agents who pored over bank accounts and credit cards said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his salary. The government says city hall was "up for grabs for the right price."
The government says Kilpatrick's corruption worsened the financial crisis that Detroit currently faces as it tries to reorganize in Bankruptcy Court. Defense lawyers call it a "cheap shot."