DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Bernard Kilpatrick, father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in the City Hall corruption case.
He was convicted of not reporting all income to the IRS for 2005.
A jury cleared him or couldn’t reach a verdict on more serious charges during a corruption trial alongside Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson.
Nonetheless, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds says the 72-year-old was involved in acts of extortion during his son’s time as mayor.
Handing down the sentence on Thursday. Judge Edmunds ordered that Bernard Kilpatrick serve one year of probation in addition to the prison time. He will also have to pay back roughly $62,000 to the IRS.
Prosecutors wanted him to spend two to three years behind bars, saying that he profited while his son was mayor.
Reporting from the courthouse, WWJ Newsradio 950′s Stephanie Davis said Bernard Kilpatrick appeared contrite as he addressed he spoke for just about a minute, prior to his sentencing.
He said he “messed up … no question about it.” He said he brought misery to his family and friends, and these last six years or so had been very difficult for him and his family.
Last week, Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison — one of the longest sentences in recent cases of corruption in the U.S. He resigned as Detroit mayor in 2008. Bobby Ferguson, was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his role,
Bernard Kilpatrick sold himself as a savvy consultant who could help people cut through red tape if they wanted to bid on city business. He declared income of $1.3 million while his son was mayor and made more than $600,000 in cash deposits, according to evidence.
Bernard Kilpatrick was recorded telling Detroit convention center contractor Karl Kado that his work could be extended for 10 years if Kado didn’t meet with federal investigators. He also was caught telling a sludge company representative that a contract would be killed if bribes weren’t delivered.
Nonetheless, the jury acquitted Bernard Kilpatrick of attempted extortion and convicted him only of filing a false tax return for 2005. At trial, his defense attorney portrayed him as a sharp-elbowed consultant, not an extortionist.
Prosecutors say Kwame Kilpatrick was the mastermind of a “pay-to-play” system for the provision of city goods and services which compromised vast swaths of city government, including the water and sewer system, the convention center, the pension system, casino developments and recreation centers.
Judge Edmunds ruled Bernard Kilpatrick can either serve his sentence in Michigan or in Texas, where his son will be incarcerated, and much of his family now resides.
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