Kwame Kilpatrick turned Detroit’s City Hall into a “private profit machine” by rigging contracts, demanding bribes and even stealing money meant for the needy, a prosecutor said during closing arguments Monday in the former mayor’s corruption trial.
Kilpatrick spent $840,000 more than he earned as Detroit’s mayor from 2002 until 2008, Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Michael Bullotta told jurors as he summed up evidence presented by the government over the past five months.
As Bullotta spoke, jurors saw images of checks documenting the alleged corruption as well as damaging text messages between Kilpatrick and a co-defendant, Bobby Ferguson, whose construction company landed contracts worth millions during the Kilpatrick years.
“They turned the mayor’s office into Kilpatrick Incorporated, a private profit machine,” the prosecutor said.
“No deal without me — that was their mantra, those were their words, that was their scheme,” Bullotta said. “They controlled city contracts, not for the good of the people but to line their own pockets.”
Kilpatrick, 42, is charged with 30 crimes, including bribery, racketeering conspiracy, extortion and tax violations. He has denied wrongdoing, and his attorney, James Thomas, has explained that people regularly gave Kilpatrick cash for his birthday or to mark other milestones.
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