Ex-Detroit mayor Kilpatrick released from state prison – what next?

August 6, 2011

Still facing a host of federal charges – Southlake, Texas resident and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick walked out of prison a free man after serving just over 14 months of a 5-year sentence at a state facility in Jackson, Michigan.

Kilpatrick had been serving time for violating probation related to a 2008 case against him. He is to check in with a Texas parole officer on his arrival as he is required to serve two years of parole.

As you might remember , Kilpatrick pleaded guilty in September 2008 to two felony counts of obstruction of justice stemming from his efforts to cover up an extramarital affair.  Following his plea, he spent more than three months in jail before being released in February 2009 on five years of probation.  However, in May 25, 2010, Wayne County Judge David Groner sentenced Kilpatrick to five years in prison for failing to report assets that could be used to pay the restitution, a violation of his probation.

Kilpatrick will be subject to usual restrictions for parolees, plus an order to pay back what his lawyer called $860,000 in restitution.


Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty Plead – Not Guilty – to Perjury!

March 25, 2008

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty five years ago were having an affair. The lies and deception that followed cost the City of Detroit more than $9 million dollars, and cost former police officers their career.


Now the two are accused of lying under oath – Perjury, Obstruction of Justice and Misconduct in Office. If you recall, perjury is what Martha Stewart was convicted of and served time in prison for. Now these two are facing the same issue.

According to a CNN report: Both Kilpatrick and Beatty declined to enter pleas Tuesday before 36th District Court Chief Magistrate Steven Lockhart. Lockhart entered the pleas on their behalf.

Lockhart set a $75,000 personal bond for both defendants. If convicted on all charges, Kilpatrick could face 80 years in prison and/or $40,000 in fines. Beatty could face 75 years and/or $30,000 in fines.

“This is a historic moment, a sad moment. No sitting mayor of Detroit has ever been charged with a crime,” Detroit Free Press reporter Jim Schaefer told CNN on Tuesday.

The case is about much more than sexually explicit text messages, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said earlier Tuesday.

“Text messages are just part of the case,” Worthy said on CNN’s “American Morning.” “We have much more evidence than that.

“It is not just about the sexual affair. It is about lying under oath. It is about betraying the public trust. It is about using $8.4 million of the taxpayers’ money to cover up that information from coming out.”

How did this all come about? It appears that the allegations of the affair were made public in a whistle blower trial for two former officers of the city. While “perjury” is generally used in a criminal case, this may be the first time that the Wayne County prosecutor’s office has used perjury from statements made in a civil case.

“In January, the Free Press reported that in an analysis of nearly 14,000 text messages on Beatty’s city-issued pager it found some from 2002 and 2003 that indicated she and the mayor were having an affair.”

But, every choice has a consequence. As a business ethics speaker (www.chuckgallagher.com), I share that sentiment with audiences nation wide. You can run but you cannot hide – from the truth. It is said that you reap what you sow. Most of the people who find themselves facing consequences they did not anticipate – assume that if they are not caught or can cover up the truth – what is hidden will stay that way forever. That is further from the truth. Funny, but “truth” has a way of sneaking to the surface.

In this case the truth will either set you free or be the catalyst for a prison sentence.


Former College President Charged with Obstruction of Justice – It Just Doesn’t Pay To Lie Says Ethics Speaker Chuck Gallagher

February 15, 2008

In practically every presentation I make I remind the audience that every choice has a consequence. (www.chuckgallagher.com) In this case, Joanne Jordan, age 66, recently interim President from 2002 through 2006 for Southern Union State Community College, Alabama, has been charged with obstruction of justice due to false testimony she gave to a grand jury.

Unless I’m missing it, this is almost the same thing Martha Stewart went to prison for – lying! As stated in the US Attorney’s news release – “Lesson for the day – do not lie to a federal grand jury.” The release indicates the following:

While JORDAN served as the interim President of SUSCC, then Chancellor Roy Johnson devised a plan to facilitate the retirement of SUSCC’s Dean of Nursing (Dean). Johnson had promoted the Dean to that position when he was President of SUSCC and he had a close relationship with her.

When JORDAN became interim President, the Dean approached JORDAN and stated that she would be willing to retire immediately, but could not do so unless “some service time” was bought from a previous job. The Dean told JORDAN, and JORDAN told Chancellor Johnson, that, if SUSCC would pay the cost of purchasing the time, she would retire and leave the campus. The cost of the Dean’s service time was approximately $24,000.

In order to facilitate the Dean’s retirement and exit from SUSCC, Johnson instructed Winston Hayes, the owner of ACCESS – a computer software vendor, to pay for the Dean’s service time. Johnson instructed Hayes submit a false invoice to SUSCC to cover the costs, and then Johnson instructed JORDAN to pay the false invoice.

When JORDAN received the fraudulent invoice from ACCESS, it was more than twice as much as the Dean’s service time had cost, so she contacted Johnson. He instructed Jordan to pay the fraudulent invoice, and to certify that software had been delivered. ACCESS Group Software, LLC received a check for $48,000 from SUSCC. Hayes used the excess money paid his company, ACCESS, to benefit himself and Johnson, with whom he was engaged in a bribery-kickback scheme. When asked in the grand jury whether the Chancellor had told her to pay a fraudulent invoice, JORDAN testified, falsely, that he had not.

Winston Hayes, owner of ACCESS Group Software, LLC has previously been charged in connection with this investigation, and has agreed to plead guilty to bribery and conspiracy to launder money. ACCESS will forfeit $5 million received as profit over the course of four years of illegal activity relating to the Postsecondary colleges.

Johnson has previously been charged with 15 counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, obstruction, witness tampering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He has agreed to plead guilty and to forfeit approximately $18 million for his illegal activity relating to the Postsecondary colleges.

JORDAN also admits, in her Plea Agreement, that from April 2004 until November 2005, while she served as interim President of SUSCC, she received free architectural services from an architect who did business with SUSCC. After learning of the federal investigation, JORDAN paid the architect approximately $3500 for services rendered to her.

JORDAN further admits that at Johnson’s direction, from December 2003 through May 2006, she hired Johnson’s son-in-law, an attorney, and paid him approximately $2000 per month for a total of $58,000. When questioned before the grand jury about why she had hired Chancellor Johnson’s son-in-law, Jordan testified falsely that she had done so own her own initiative without direction from the Chancellor.

My, what a tangled web we weave. Now, so there is no confusion – I am not passing judgment here. I, too, wove a tangled web and the consequences that followed – federal prison. I am not proud of that fact, but one can make lemonade out of lemons. Just like bad choices have a negative consequence – every time – good choices can have positive results. Unfortunately, in this case, the negative consequences of Jordan’s choices are just now beginning to surface.

The penalty for obstruction of justice in federal court is not more than ten years in prison, fines of $250,000, or both. “Investigations of this type are extremely difficult and complicated, and are made even more so when individuals deliberately attempt to hide the truth,” stated Richard Minor, Acting Alabama Attorney General. “Nobody is above the law including Ms. Jordan, a former college president.”