Judge: Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick must pay $4.7 million - KMSP-TV

Judge: Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick must pay $4.7 million

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By: M.L. Elrick

(WJBK) -- Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick steered contracts worth tens of millions of dollars to his best friend, Bobby Ferguson. It's almost impossible to say how much ended up in their pockets, but the law says he has to pay something back and Tuesday Kilpatrick got the tab.

Kwame Kilpatrick skipped taking a trip to federal court today for a restitution hearing. He doesn't have many fond memories of the building where he was sentenced to 28 years for public corruption.

Judge Nancy Edmunds dealt the former mayor his latest setback, ordering him to forfeit 4.5 million for turning Detroit City Hall into the hub of a criminal enterprise. $195,000 was ordered to the Internal Revenue Service. Needless to say, Kilpatrick's lawyer objected.

"I don't think that there was reliable evidence to support the forfeiture amount," Harold Gurewitz says.

But prosecutor Mark Chutkow agreed with the judge. In fact, he says Kilpatrick got off easy.

"I think the court took a very conservative estimate," Chutkow says.

The trick, of course, is getting money from a guy who hasn't had a job for a couple years and who is scheduled to spend the next 28 years breaking rocks.

"If there's money out there that we haven't discovered at this point, that would be available for use in paying off the victims in this case," Chutkow says. He continues, "These were illegally gotten gains and that this amount is owed to ratepayers in the city of Detroit and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

"Since it's cold, and I assume it's cold in Hell as well, what are the odds that we're going to get any of this money from Kwame Kilpatrick?" Elrick asks Chutkow.

"I don't know. We'll just have to see," he responds.

With his restitution hearing out of the way, the next big move for Kilpatrick will be to a new home in the federal prison system. He's asked to go to Texas, and the judge has given her blessing, but the Bureau of Prisons will make the decision.

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