Kilpatrick: A look back at Detroit's fallen mayor - FOX 35 News Orlando

Kilpatrick: From a promising future to the penitentiary, a look back at Detroit's fallen mayor

Posted: Updated:

Few politicians have experienced as many highs and lows in their careers as Kwame Kilpatrick experienced in just 10 years.

At his first inaugural, with his large extended family – many of whom would end up on the city payroll – watching, he burst onto the scene promising to lift Detroit onto his broad shoulders.

2001 inauguration: "Rise up! Rise up! Detroit's future starts Right Here, Right Now!"

By Kilpatrick's second year in office, the honeymoon was over. His brash style and reputation as the Hip-Hop Mayor fed rumors that he had hosted a wild party at the city's Manoogian Mansion. After firing a deputy chief for investigating members of his inner circle, Kilpatrick denied wrongdoing while surrounded by supporters at the mansion.

2003 Manoogian response:  "I would never disgrace my family, my city, my god."

Kilpatrick still had plenty to celebrate. First there was the Major League All-Star Game. Then, Super Bowl XL.
But Kilpatrick's X-L appetites created more headaches for the mayor. His use of a city credit card and petty cash account to subsidize his lavish lifestyle outraged Detroiters struggling to get by. His mother was so concerned that the bad press could cost him a second term that she attacked the media at his re-election kick-off.
2005 Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick: "don't let them mess with y'alls boy"

Kilpatrick was all-but declared dead in the run-up to election night on 2005. But weeks of working the streets paid off and he narrowly won a second term.

After promising to change his ways, Kilpatrick seemed primed for a personal and political renaissance when a police whistleblower case filed against him in 2003 finally went to trial. The mayor took the stand hoping to sway the jury. Instead, he sowed the seeds of his own undoing.

Kilpatrick lost the lawsuit. But the real damage to his career came months later when Jim Schaefer and I exposed text messages showing that Kilpatrick lied under oath. A humbled Kilpatrick went on TV to apologize to Detroiters one more time.

Kilpatrick: "I'm sorry"

It wasn't enough. Still, Kilpatrick's confidence in himself never waned. It became apparent at his 2008 State of the City speech that he was getting tired of saying he was sorry and lashed out.

2008 State of the City, Kilpatrick: "In the past 30 days, I've been called a nigger more than any time in my entire life."

It was the final straw for many. But things got worse when Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged him with perjury and obstruction of justice. After months of fighting, Kilpatrick entered a plea deal and agreed to resign. Even with his career in tatters, in true Kilpatrick fashion, the mayor didn't go meekly.

Kilpatrick: "y'all done set me up for a comeback"

Kilpatrick and his family moved to Dallas. Into a BIG HOUSE in Dallas, in fact. But he was sent to prison after a judge determined that the Kilpatricks were hiding assets that should have been used to pay down the former mayor's restitution tab to Detroit. He spent more than a year behind bars.

The man who became Detroit's youngest elected mayor now goes on trial on public corruption charges that could send him away for the rest of the best part of his life. Ever defiant, Kilpatrick said he is innocent and will emerge victorious.

Kilpatrick 2012: "I don't plan for defeat OR I never took a damn dime"

Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices