And the day of reckoning has come. Months after being convicted of federal charges of racketeering, extortion and bribery that reportedly cost the now-bankrupt city of Detroit $9.6 million, corrupt former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will spend 28 years behind bars.
The lengthy sentence was long expected and of little surprise to everyone except Kilpatrick and his defense. Twenty-eight years was the minimum, though his defense tried to bargain for 15 years.
During an emotional plea in a camera-free courtroom, Kilpatrick acknowledged he was "ready" to serve prison time, but insisted that he did not steal from the city and agonized about the future of his three juvenile sons, all of whom live in Texas with his wife, Carlita.
Kilpatrick also remarked that he "killed the career" of his mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, a U.S. House representative ousted from her seat after details of the younger Kilpatrick's corruption emerged.
Kilpatrick is not alone in the far-reaching corruption investigation, which has led to prison time for former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers and her associate, Sam Riddle. Longtime friend Bobby Ferguson, a local contractor involved in million-dollar pay-to-play scandals, is to be sentenced today. Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, faces sentencing for a tax charge.
So are we even close to the end? Not quite. Kilpatrick's mistress, former chief of staff Christine Beatty, was named as a co-conspirator in the FBI's ongoing corruption investigation this week just as a tell-all interview with Essence magazine hits stands today.