The long and twisted life of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick continues after a parole board granted his release next month after being in custody since May 25, 2010.
Kilpatrick was sentenced to between 18 months and five years in prison for violating probation. The man that owns the distinction of being the youngest mayor in the history of the city of Detroit will be released July 24 to reunite with his wife and three children in Texas.
The parole board voted to release him on two conditions:
- That he continue repaying the city of Detroit his outstanding restitution of $860,000.
- That he set up a payment schedule with his parole officer based on his monthly income.
Kilpatrick has been quoted as saying, “Any money that I make — any dime, any penny I make — will go to pay restitution,” and, “One of the things I’ve learned over the past year is to be a man of my word.”
The judge also ordered that Kilpatrick not be allowed to profit off any memoirs published about his life and that all monies be paid to the city of Detroit.
Kilpatrick’s job prospects are limited to a few speaking engagements.
Despite his pending release, Kilpatrick isn’t out of legal hot water. He still faces 19 federal charges for fraudulently awarding city contracts to different vendors with pocketed kickbacks totaling $1 million.
If convicted, Kilpatrick could wind up back in prison for up to 30 years.
At this point, however, Kilpatrick is just happy to be rejoining his family in a Dallas suburb. On Father’s Day, Kilpatrick tweeted — apparently they allow Twitter in jail — about his children, saying, “I can’t wait to get home and be a father to Jelani, Jalil & Jonas. Dads out there — cherish this responsibility.”
Will Kilpatrick be granted a second chance in the public’s opinion? It’s tough to say.
Throughout his tenure as mayor since 2001, he has been embroiled in scandal after scandal that may make some people slow to forgive him. Though he may not be the root cause of Detroit’s economic problems (high unemployment, foreclosures, poverty, abandoned properties), his misconduct couldn’t have helped. Some feel that he hasn’t shown the proper remorse for someone who has set his hometown back a few years.
In the end, it is imperative that Kilpatrick repay the city to somewhat compensate for the damage he’s caused. Then it will be time to get ready to tackles the new charges against him. He is scheduled to go on trial in September 2012.