Jury Selection Set To Begin In Kilpatrick Corruption Trial

August 6, 2012

Jury selection is set to begin this week in one of the highest-profile public corruption trials in the history of Detroit. Federal prosecutors accuse former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of running the city’s government as a criminal enterprise. Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, and former Detroit Water Department director Victor Mercado face federal charges of racketeering, extortion, bribery, fraud and tax evasion. Contractor Bobby Ferguson, a life-long friend of the ex-mayor, was tried earlier this year but his case ended in a hung jury. He could be re-tried. Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick received millions of dollars in bribes, withheld city funds from those who would not pay and threatened others.
The judge in the case is ordering tighter safeguards over identifying jurors than even those used during the recent terrorism trial of so-called underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. The media is prohibited from blogging about the jury pool during the selection process. In the Abdulmutallab case some jurors said they feared they would be retaliated against if their identity could in some way become public.