Convicted Former Detroit Mayor Appeals Sentence, Requests New Trial

September 4, 2014

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is appealing his 28-year- sentence for public corruption and requesting a new trial. A jury convicted Kilpatrick last year on numerous charges including bribery, racketeering and extortion. But in a court filing the former Mayor says he did not receive a fair trial and should be granted another day in court. Kilpatrick alleges his attorney during the trial – Jim Thomas – had a conflict of interest because he was involved in a lawsuit regarding the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, which figured heavily in the corruption case against the former Mayor. Kilpatrick wanted Thomas excused from the case before the trial began but Judge Nancy Edmunds denied the motion, noting that Kilpatrick had initially requested that Thomas, in particular, serve as his attorney. In his appeal Kilpatrick also says the order that he pay millions of dollars in restitution was not authorized under federal law and that Edmonds made a mistake in allowing two FBI agents to give their personal opinion of what certain text messages, recorded calls and documents meant -- rather than giving the jury the chance to review them.