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Contractors said they were forced to take on Ferguson as a partner or risk losing lucrative deals. The government alleged that he in turn shared cash with Kilpatrick.
Agents examining his bank accounts and credit cards said Kilpatrick spent $840,000 beyond his salary during his time as mayor. Prosecutors said Kilpatrick also tapped a non-profit fund, which was created to help distressed Detroit residents, to pay for yoga, camps for his kids, golf clubs and travel.
In a Feb. 25 letter to President Donald Trump seeking clemency for Kilpartrick, the Ebony Foundation’s Payton said the foundation was not disputing his guilt or innocence. Rather, it was pointing to the severity of the sentence for what were “non-violent, public corruption crimes.”
“Kwame Kilpatrick’s punishment of a 28-year sentence does not fit the crime for which he was convicted,” Payton wrote.