Kwame Kilpatrick recall (2008)
In order to initiate a recall election, 56,970 signatures were required. The signatures needed to be collected in a 90-day period that fell within a 180-day windown that started on April 28 when Wayne County elections officials approved the recall language.
The primary organizer of the Kilpatrick recall effort was Angelo Brown, a security guard from southwest Detroit. The language on the approved recall petition said, "Kwame Kilpatrick is too preoccupied to be effective as mayor of Detroit with felony perjury charges."
In the News
Kilpatrick earned the ire of Brown and others because of an $8.4 million payout the city of Detroit made to settle whistleblower lawsuits in 2007. During his testimony in the suit, Kilpatrick denied an extramarital affair with chief of staff Christine Beatty, but explicit text messages later confirmed the relationship. On September 4, 2008, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and resigned from office.
On March 11, 2013, a jury found Kilpatrick guilty on 24 counts, including charges of extortion, racketeering, and fraud. Some of the charges related to allegations that Kilpatrick used his position as mayor to illegally direct $76 million in contracts to friend and contractor Bobby Ferguson, taking bribes, providing fake jobs to friends and family, and using a nonprofit fund for personal expenses. Prosecutors determined that while serving as mayor, Kilpatrick spent $840,000 more than his mayoral salary could cover. In addition to Kilpatrick and Ferguson, more than 30 other people were convicted in connection with the "Kilpatrick enterprise," as prosecutors called the network of corruption. On October 10, 2013, federal judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced Kilpatrick to 28 years in prison, as requested by the prosecution. Edmunds stated that restitution would be settled at a later hearing.
- Detroit News, Election panel approves petition to recall Kilpatrick, April 29, 2008
- The New York Times, "Detroit Mayor Pleads Guilty and Resigns" September 4, 2008. accessed October 10, 2013
- Huffington Post, "Kwame Kilpatrick Guilty: Detroit Mayor Found Guilty in Federal Trial" October 10, 2013
- Governing, "Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison" October 10, 2013
- Huffington Post: BlackVoices, "Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced, Former Detroit Mayor Gets 28 Years In Prison On Corruption Charges" October 10, 2013
- NBC News, "Former Detroit mayor braces for long sentence" October 10, 2013
- CBS Detroit, "Kwame Kilpatrick Sentenced to 28 Years, ‘I Really, Really, Really Messed Up’" October 10, 2013
- NBC News, "28 years in prison for corrupt ex-Detroit mayor" October 10, 2013