Kwame Kilpatrick took notes as the prosecutor spoke. He occasionally offered hushed words to his lawyer but mostly leaned back and rested his chin in his hand.
Bullotta focused on three key areas: $84 million in contracts given to Ferguson, Kilpatrick’s use of a nonprofit fund for the needy called the Civic Fund, and bribes Kilpatrick allegedly demanded from businesses that wanted to keep or get city work.
He didn’t remind jurors about everything that emerged at trial. Kilpatrick, sometimes accompanied by family, took 20 round-trip flights to destinations that included the Bahamas, Florida, New York and Texas. The travel on private planes was worth $389,000, but Kilpatrick never paid a dime to wealthy businessman Tony Soave.
Bullotta told jurors to recall that Kilpatrick created the Civic Fund to help Detroit residents in distress. Instead, he said Kilpatrick looted it to buy golf clubs, send his sons to camp, take yoga classes and travel. Ferguson once donated $75,000 to the fund, which the prosecutor said was his way of “sharing the spoils” from rigged water department contracts approved by the “Kilpatrick enterprise.”
“Kwame Kilpatrick wanted money. He wanted power. He was not interested in responsibility. … He thought the rules did not apply to him,” Bullotta said.
After resigning in 2008, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about whether he had had sex with a top aide. He subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.
Voters booted his mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, from Congress in 2010, partly because of a negative perception of her due to her son’s troubles.