DETROIT (CBS Detroit) He played contrite in court, but a seemingly unrepentant former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick took to Facebook this holiday weekend to rant against the conspiracy he blames for his incarceration and lash out at the “wicked and evil” justice system.
Kilpatrick is serving 28 years in prison on a bevy of convictions related to kickback schemes and other malfeasance in office; The Supreme Court rejected his appeal for a new trial last week.
Largely silent from the time of his conviction until now, Kilpatrick opens up in the post written on his brother-in-law Daniel Ferguson III’s Facebook page, saying the evidence against him was planted as part of a grand conspiracy to drive him away from the city of Detroit.
“(The feds) worked diligently with the Local Media, State Authorities, Prosecutor Worthy, and Detroit Police to fabricate and plant news stories about Money, Strippers, Trips, Vacations, Partying, and the like, in order to further drive a wedge of mistrust amongst the electorate and citizens of Detroit and Kwame Kilpatrick,” he wrote.
At one point, Kilpatrick describes it as the “the most pressing Civil Rights Issue of our time!”
Wayne County Judge Vonda Evans responded to the post, writing, “love you.”
The combative stance Kilpatrick presented on Facebook was far different than his demeanor at his 2013 sentencing, where he wiped away tears and basically said he had learned his lesson.
Kilpatrick spoke eloquently in his own defense immediately before the sentence was handed down, giving a lengthy talk full of apologies and self-reflection in a subdued voice that riveted the packed courtroom and overflow room.
“I just humbly and respectfully ask for a fair sentence … I respect the jury’s verdict. I think your honor knows I have disagreed in terms of the specific things I was found guilty on, but I respect the verdict and I also respect the American justice system,” he said at the time.
He added: “I really, really, really messed up,” he said. At the time he added that he took full responsibility for all his actions, including lying under oath about his affair with former chief of staff Christine Beatty.
“I say with every morsel of my being that I’m sorry … I want to say the same to my wife and my children, specifically to my mom and my dad, my mom was an incredible public servant and she lost her job … killed her career,” Kilpatrick said at the conclusion of his trial. “My family is not here today, your honor, because of them being subjected … I didn’t want them to have further damage leaving this courtroom, it would probably be hell for them (facing the media), but they’ve all sent me their love and their prayers and they’ve all forgiven me. I just hope that one day I can forgive myself.”
Kilpatrick ended his unusually humble speech by saying he was “incredibly remorseful.”
Sentencing Judge Nancy Edmonds was clearly unmoved. She said his remarks “showed more awareness,” though his actions after he left Detroit didn’t inspire confidence in his ability to reform. He repeatedly missed payments, hid assets, blamed the media for his troubles and lived large after he was ordered to pay Detroit $850,000 in restitution for his perjury conviction for lying on the stand to cover his romance with chief of staff Christine Beatty. He was charged with racketeering and other charges following that conviction.
In his post, Kilpatrick denies every charge of which he was convicted, and promises to emerge from prison energized for a cause.
“All of this has been building towards one great moment; Walking out of the front door, and pursuing purpose on the outside of these prison walls. There is strength in Unity! I truly thank you for whatever you are able to commit to doing, providing, and/or supporting me to continue this walk,” he writes.