DETROIT -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been led to jail in handcuffs, after being convicted today on corruption charges.
His lawyers asked that he be allowed to remain free while he awaits sentencing, but a judge refused. Kilpatrick earlier spent 14 months in prison for violating probation in another case -- in which he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. That case involved sexually-explicit text messages and an extramarital affair with his chief of staff.
In this case, jurors convicted him of a raft of crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years behind bars. During a five-month trial, he was portrayed as a corrupt politician who took bribes, rigged contracts and lived far beyond his means.
Prosecutors said he ran a "private profit machine" out of Detroit's City Hall. IRS agents said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 more than he earned as mayor.
A federal prosecutor is hailing today's verdict, saying Kilpatrick was "grabbing money from the citizens he was elected to serve." One juror said she saw things during the trial that, in her words, "really turned my stomach."
She said, "I couldn't believe this type of thing was going on." A Kilpatrick friend was also convicted of racketeering conspiracy.