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Detroit explained, part XXXIV: Former mayor convicted on 24 charges of corruption

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By Doug Powers  •  March 11, 2013 03:22 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Call me anything except surprised:

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted Monday of corruption charges, ensuring a return to prison for a man once among the nation’s youngest big-city leaders.

Jurors convicted Kilpatrick of a raft of crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars. He was portrayed during a five-month trial as an unscrupulous politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means while in office until fall 2008.

Kilpatrick wore a surprised, puzzled look at times as U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds read the jury’s verdict: guilty of 24 charges, not guilty on three and no consensus on three more. Kilpatrick declined to speak to reporters as he left the courthouse.

Prosecutors said Kilpatrick ran a “private profit machine” out of Detroit’s City Hall.

CNN plays “name that party” with this story.

Kilpatrick does have his defenders.

The list of corrupt Detroit area politicians is lengthy. The most recent include:

Monica Conyers: Former Detroit City Council member pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal bribery charges. She served 27 months in a federal prison and then several weeks in a halfway house before her release in January. She’s now on home confinement until May.

Alonzo Bates: Former Detroit City Council member convicted in 2006 of federal charges that he put relatives on the city payroll. Bates began his 33-month sentence in 2009.

Motown’s political honor roll continues here.

Trivia: The Latin phrase above the door leading out of Detroit’s City Hall translates to “See you on visiting day.”

Update: Kilpatrick gets some not-so-subtle aerial advice.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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