When Kwame Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit, family members rode the wave of his success. Young, charismatic and bright, it appeared that he could well hold on to the mayor’s office for a long time. Yet he fell hard in 2008 after serving only six years, and he took many family members with him.
Here’s the latest on Kwame himself, and his closest family members:
1. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick- Though 7-term US Rep Kilpatrick is free of wrongdoing herself, her son’s shenanigans may thwart her chances for an eighth term. Saturday she claimed that her own polling showed her running “slightly ahead” of primary challenger Hanson Clark, yet a Detroit News-WDIV poll released Friday had her trailing Clark by 8 percentage points.
Also, an EPIC-MRA poll released the same day showed Clark a full 13 points in front of Kilpatrick. Nearly half of those polled who supported another candidate cited Kilpatrick family scandals as a motivating factor.
2. Bernard Kilpatrick- The family patriarch remains a subject of the federal corruption investigation. He opened a consulting firm, Maestro Associates, and though he lacked the experience or savvy of a Sam Waters, his filial connection with the mayor was his stock-in-trade.
Businessman Larry Mongo, who had known Bernard for nearly 30 years, observed that as soon as Kwame was elected, Bernard’s persona changed. He began wearing furs, big hats, and diamond rolex watches. But as soon as Kwame was forced out, his dad encountered financial problems. He lost his expensive East Jefferson condo to foreclosure, and he was hounded about the $3,500 balance on his credit card.
As the feds began digging deeper into the Synagro sludge hauling contract, it emerged that Bernard wanted a piece of the action.
James Rosendall, one of two Synagro salesmen sent to prison for bribery, got approval from executives to transfer money to Bernard. Synagro brass arranged for Bernard to profit even though they thought he had no marketable skills. Records show Rosendall gave Bernard at least $25,000, much of which was in the form of loans that have not been repaid.
Although US Attorney Barbara McQuade has other fish to fry, her investigation of Synagro, and corruption during the Kilpatrick adminstration in general, could put Bernard on the wrong end of an indictment.
3. Carlita Kilpatrick- With no income of her own, and the near certainty of assets going into a receivership to pay her husband’s debt to the city, Carlita would like nothing more than to get Kwame home and at work as soon as possible. But the new 19 count federal indictment against Kwame could put him out of action for years. Her legal efforts to protect ‘her’ assets have bourne no fruit in Texas, and would have little chance in Michigan.
Perhaps Carlita will have to update her resume’.
4. Kwame Kilpatrick- OK, so Kwame picked up a major violation for briefly touching his wife’s breast. His New York PR guy Mike Paul (what’s he still doing in town, and who’s paying him?) cried conspiracy, but other prisoners saw it and would not take kindly to differential treatment of the mayor.
If it stands, the parole board will see it, but it’s highly doubtful that an incident of that kind would cause them to deny parole
More recently, Kwame’s appointed lawyer in the federal tax evasion case has requested the appointment of two more lawyers, all to be paid for by your tax dollars. Yet there is a limit of $10,000 on the amount the lawyers can charge, and that won’t go far spread three ways. Sooner or later they will either be working pro bono or paid from Kwame’s hidden assets.