According to local news reports, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been indicted on federal corruption charges.
Kilpatrick was charged along with his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and several other former city officials: city contractor Bobby Ferguson, former top Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller and former water department chief Victor Mercado, according to the Free Press.
According to the Detroit News, the men are being charged under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, a law usually used to prosecute mobsters and other perpetrators of organized crime.
The reported indictments are part of a wide-ranging, years-long corruption probe in Detroit City Hall. According to the Free Press, the investigation has so far resulted in 15 guilty pleas from city officials, aides and contractors.
Kilpatrick himself is serving a prison sentence for violating the probation he was sentenced to after pleading guilty to to obstruction of justice and lying under oath. Kilpatrick lied, in part, to cover up an affair he was having with a staffer. Eventually a whole slew of steamy texts between Kilpatrick and the staffer were released. You can see TPM’s favorites here.
That’s not all. Kilpatrick was also hit with 19 federal fraud and tax evasion charges in June for allegedly stealing $640,000 from a non-profit he created in order to help Detroit’s youth. He allegedly used the money to pay for yoga classes, golfing, his children’s summer camp and other personal expenses.
Rumors of the new charges have been circling for months. In February, federal investigators were looking into allegations that Kilpatrick was telling contractors seeking city business to hire his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, as a contractor. One contractor told investigators he had given Bernard Kilpatrick some $300,000, and gave another $100,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick directly.
Update: The 38-count indictment is out. The charges — for racketeering, extortion, tax evasion and other crimes — focus on hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of kickbacks and bribes that Kilpatrick and his father received from city contractors.
The indictment, care of the Free Press: