The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
America's Worst Mayor Heads (Briefly) To Jail

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who apparently broke more laws during his time in office than most people ever knew existed, will be spending the weekend in prison after violating his parole.

The AP reports that this distinguished example of a modern American urban politician was trying to hide assets from the poor people he systematically defrauded in office:

“The ex-mayor still owed Detroit $855,000 in restitution and is required to report gifts and other income as a condition of his parole, something officials say he has failed to do on a number of occasions.”

Kilpatrick was convicted in 2008 for obstruction of justice, and is currently standing trial for fraud, bribery, tax crimes and racketeering conspiracy. His egregious abuses of power included tax-payer funds funneled into an extra-marital affair, and, more importantly, looting millions of dollars from the city’s pension fund.

Unprincipled parasites Well connected Democratic politicians like Kilpatrick ran Detroit into the ground and the abuses continue. We only hope that his continued public trial and shaming serves as a deterrent for those who’d be inclined to follow his example — and we hope the forces of the law will succeed in their commendable effort to claw back all the money he stole. We’d also like to see more members of the Congressional Black Caucus take a strong public stance against the most destructive and unprincipled enemies America’s poor communities face: greedy machine politicians who invoke the rhetoric of civil rights and race loyalty as they pillage and loot the city governments on which so many poor people depend for basic services.

Published on January 25, 2013 7:00 pm