Barbara McQuade: Kilpatrick corrupted Detroit city hall - FOX 32 News Chicago

Barbara McQuade: City hall didn't corrupt Kilpatrick, he corrupted city hall

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U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says "Kwame Kilpatrick didn't lead the city, he looted the city."  (Credit: Fox 2 News) U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says "Kwame Kilpatrick didn't lead the city, he looted the city." (Credit: Fox 2 News)
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The U.S. attorney is very satisfied with the verdict in the Kilpatrick corruption case.  She had a lot to say about the ex-mayor using his power at city hall to turn a personal profit.

"No one can speak louder than the jury, who already spoke today," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade.

Kwame Kilpatrick heard it loud and clear.  His father, Bernard, broke down.  They consoled one another in court.  Kwame and his best friend and fellow felon Bobby Ferguson were convicted of racketeering, extortion and bribery and were locked up within hours.

"Kwame Kilpatrick didn't lead the city, he looted the city," McQuade remarked.  "The former mayor was not focused on running the city.  He was focused on using the mayor's office as a money making machine for himself and his family and friends."

"The state arts grant, I thought the evidence in that count was particularly significant because it showed that even before he became mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick was using his office in the Michigan legislature to rob the people and to enrich his friends and himself, including Bobby Ferguson.  He was abusing power even before he became mayor of Detroit," she added.  "So it was not the power of city hall that corrupted Kwame Kilpatrick.  Kwame Kilpatrick corrupted city hall."

McQuade is grateful to the jurors, who took their job very seriously, and to the assistant U.S. attorneys.  This was the culmination of years of hard work after having started the case in 2004.

"In contrast to Kwame Kilpatrick, this is real public service," she said.

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Text messages also played a big role.

"They were like a crime scene frozen in time.  They were very important," said McQuade.

Several bribe payers have already been convicted.  Others that testified will likely not be prosecuted, and still others mentioned like Christine Beatty, Carlita Kilpatrick or Ayanna Kilpatrick will not be prosecuted.

"It's the public officials who create that culture of bribery and pay-to-play, if you will, that is so poisonous to city government," McQuade said.

It is a victory for the City of Detroit and its people, but not a reason to celebrate.

"It's never a happy day to see defendants go to prison.  There are family members who will be impacted by this, but we do believe that it's necessary," said McQuade.

Click on the second and third videos above to watch McQuade's news conference in its entirety.

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