Winners and Losers in the 313
Monica Conyers has now paid her "official" debt back to the citizens of the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan for her federal bribery conviction. The total debt for breaches of the public trust like these, however, can never be paid in full.
The two Motown politicians have long-been connected at the hip here in the D. Kilpatrick's public service career came to a crashing end in March 2008, just prior to his being charged with state law felonies. The Detroit City Council passed a non-binding resolution 7-1 to remove him from office; Conyers was Kwame's sole supporter; her lone vote cast just as her own official career came to similarly ignominious end.
Both convicts have family that have served in Congress. Monica Conyers is the wife of long-serving Congressman John Conyers from Michigan's re-tooled 13th District; Kwame's Mother, Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, represented Michigan's re-tooled 14th District from 1996 until she was defeated by Hansen Clarke in 2010, while her son's legal battles were heating-up. Kilpatrick's Father, Bernard Kilpatrick, once served as chief-of-staff for former Wayne County Executive Robert McNamara; you just could not be better connected in Wayne County or Detroit.
For his part, Kwame's as yet un-sentenced jury convictions for abuse of the public trust, embezzlement, racketeering, and a bushel full of other counts, have rendered his torrid Wikipedia biography woefully out-of-date. Kipatrick's expected decade-plus sentence will be meted-out sometime later this spring.
Even accounting for the significant good-behavior credits available in the federal penitentiary, the former mayor is going to do a long-bit; the federal sentencing guidelines are not something to trifle with. Kilpatrick's prior state-law convictions and the multi-million-dollar amounts of the illegal contracts in his case will jack-up his sentence.
We here at the Law Blogger feel bad for Kwame's three young sons; they are part of the human price that will now be paid. It's all bad, for everyone. The former Mayor and Councilwoman do not deserve public forgiveness. Their cases illustrate the deep costs of such poor decisions and criminal conduct. They have robbed us all.