Carlita Kilpatrick seeks contributions for family's tuition - FOX 35 News Orlando

Carlita Kilpatrick seeks contributions for family's tuition

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An excerpt from a letter sent out by Carlita Kilpatrick. An excerpt from a letter sent out by Carlita Kilpatrick.
Prestonwood Christian Academy Prestonwood Christian Academy
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BY M. L. ELRICK
FOX 2 INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER


SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- With its impressive campus, 5,000 seat football stadium, and motto "To the Greater Glory of God," it's easy to see why parents would want to send their kids to Prestonwood Christian Academy.

What's not so obvious is why Kwame and Carlita Kilpatrick, who fled Detroit and its struggling schools, think the folks back home should help foot the bill for the private high school's tuition of $16,000 per student.

Nevertheless, Carlita Kilpatrick sent out letters asking people to help raise $20,000 to cover tuition for her teenage twins.

Carlita wrote in a letter that "Tuition ... is $32,000 and we are receiving $13,500 in financial aid. We are still in need of about $20,000 and would like to ask you for some assistance  .... Any financial assistance you would be able to provide would be a blessing to us."

Before we discuss Carlita Kilpatrick's justification for her solicitation, we want to make it clear that no one is saying that her children are not entitled to a quality education.  This story is not about the kids.

It's about Kwame and Carlita Kilpatrick's continuing sense of entitlement and their continuing efforts to live beyond their means while hiding assets that could be used to pay off the $850,000 in restitution the former mayor still owes the City of Detroit.

But paying back the people of Detroit isn't the only issue.  Former state parole board member Paul Condino says it looks like the Kilpatricks are pulling a fast one.

"This is a concerted effort on the mayor's behalf and his family to skirt what I believe are the orders of the court," says Condino.

Kilpatrick has essentially been under house arrest since last week after we aired a video of his visit to a Macomb County Walmart where he cashed a wire transfer sent by a Chicago pastor.  Kilpatrick now says he regrets failing to report the $2,000.

After parole agents met with Kilpatrick, the former mayor disclosed other contributions and provided state officials with a tuition solicitation letter similar to the one I obtained.

In both letters, Carlita Kilpatrick writes that her family has suffered enough.

Carlita Kilpatrick wrote, "During Kwame's nearly seven year tenure as mayor, we were blessed to be able to afford and expose our children to positive educational experiences.  But since his forced resignation, subsequent incarceration and onslaught of continuous media harassment, our family has had to make huge adjustments not only to our lifestyles, but to our lives."

Maybe so, but the Kilpatricks haven't exactly lived in squalor.  Their current home outside Dallas is an impressive place even larger than the Manoogian Mansion.

Still, there's no question the text message scandal I helped uncover in 2008 rocked the Kilpatricks.  Jim Schaefer and I showed how the mayor ruined the careers of three good cops and used $8.4 million in city money to cover up an affair.

Kilpatrick ultimately resigned in disgrace after admitting to obstruction of justice, spent 99 days in jail, then violated probation and did 18 months in prison for hiding assets that could have been used to pay his restitution bill.

Condino says he believes the solicitation letter is a parole violation.  But the real problem is that the Kilpatricks still don't seem to understand that there are rules they need to follow whether they like it or not.

"It appears to be an ongoing pattern," says Condino.

While state corrections officials aren't happy with the Kilpatricks, they say they don't view Carlita Kilpatrick's letter as a parole violation.  But they are continuing to find out all the ways the former mayor has been getting money without their knowledge.

UPDATE:

On Friday, Kwame Kilpatrick released the following statement regarding this story:

"In my efforts to fully cooperate with the MDOC investigation, I provided this letter along with an explanation of its substance. Our children were presented with an opportunity to attend one of the best schools in the country. The letter was sent to two (2) individuals. We decided, as a family, that our children would not attend the school. We called the 2 individuals and told them of our decision, to not have our boys attend the school. No donations were needed at that point. No donations were received. This explanation was also sent to the MDOC, as an attachment to the letter when it was voluntarily provided. Unfortunately, the explanation was apparently not released with this item from the MDOC "internal" investigation."

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