Congressman Peters gives Kandia Milton a second chance - FOX 32 News Chicago

Congressman Peters gives Kandia Milton a second chance

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By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- "The very reason I got into public service was to serve the people," said Kandia Milton.

However, he ended up serving time for public corruption.  The former deputy mayor of Detroit and former friend of disgraced Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was released from prison one year ago and is now back in public service working for United States Congressman Gary Peters.

"I was fortunate because I happened to have worked on a campaign with Congressman Peters, who saw some value in what I brought to the table, and thus I was allowed a second chance," Milton said.

Milton returned home to his wife and three daughters last November after pleading guilty to accepting a $19,000 bribe in connection with the sale of a city-owned camp, part of the web of alleged public corruption the feds say ran rampant in the Kilpatrick administration.

Milton spent a year behind bars and like so many other returning citizens labeled as felons and ex-cons he had to start over.

"In your mind you know that you're going to start from scratch, but the experience is very humbling," said Milton.

However, his volunteer work on the Peters campaign for the new 14th District paid off.  He was hired on after the election as a senior congressional liaison doing community outreach with a salary of $42,900 a year.

So Kandia Milton served his time, paid the price for his crime and certainly says he's learned his lesson.  His new boss says he's a firm believer in second chances.

"Certainly he did wrong and we all recognize that, but he did pay his price," Peters told me.  "We need to be in a position where we give folks a second chance, and if we don't, we're going to be in bigger trouble as a society, as well."

There are those who might say Milton doesn't deserve another position in politics where he's paid with taxpayer dollars.  Congressman Peters disagrees saying he trusts him and believes in him.

"I knew he would be an asset as someone who would be in the community working with individuals, but more importantly just cares very deeply about the future of the city of Detroit and the region," Peters said.

Meanwhile, Milton says he had a lot of time to reflect on the importance of the position.

"The public trust is a sacred thing and you know, I don't take that lightly, and I recognize that as I continue to get back out in the community it's a process and I have to rebuild that trust," he told me.

Just don't ask him about his old friend Kwame Kilpatrick currently on trial in federal court.  Milton was on the prosecution's witness list.

"There's a judge and jury and I would say that they would be the ones to weigh in on that," he said.

Instead he's focused on his new job working with the residents of the 14th District and making the most of his second chance.

"We have our work cut out for us and I'm up for it," he said.

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