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Ex-Mayor’s Cousin Pleads In Embezzlement Case

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Nneka Cheeks (AP Photo/Michigan Attorney General)

Nneka Cheeks (AP Photo/Michigan Attorney General)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A cousin of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has pleaded guilty to racketeering and embezzlement in the theft of nearly $20,000 from a mayoral mansion restoration bank account.

Attorney General Bill Schuette says 40-year-old Nneka Cheeks entered her plea Friday in Wayne County Circuit Court.

Cheeks was Kilpatrick’s liaison to the Manoogian Mansion Restoration Society Fund starting in 2007.

Investigators said Cheeks used her position to access the fund to pay $3,600 toward her wedding reception at the Roostertail, $2,619 to the Jewelry Factory for a 1.25 carat loose diamond and her husband’ wedding band, $3,943 to pay off debt for an unnamed relative,  $1,140 to ‘Brides Made Fit’ for personal training, $450 to Allure Medical Spa for mesotherapy cosmetic injections, $4,025 in cash withdrawals, and $1,300 to Michigan Veterinary Specialists for care of her dog, “Trouble.”

Schuette said in a release that “no public official should think they can put their hand in the cookie jar as if no one is looking.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17. She faces up to 20 years if convicted on the racketeering charge.

Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 as part of a plea in a criminal case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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