Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick looking ahead

Detroit News
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Kwame Kilpatrick listens to court proceedings June 16. The former Detroit mayor will move to Texas. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)
Kwame Kilpatrick listens to court proceedings June 16. The former Detroit mayor will move to Texas. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Doug Guthrie, Detroit News staff writer

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will step out of prison a free man early Tuesday.

But he'll have plenty on his plate, from strategizing with defense lawyers in his pending federal corruption and racketeering case to plugging his tell-all book.

"His job, at least for a while, will be promoting the book," said James Thomas, a lawyer representing Kilpatrick on the federal charges.

"He has to get out and support himself and his family. His job will be to be a motivational speaker or historical speaker.

"I don't have his itinerary, but there will be many public speaking engagements."

Kilpatrick won permission from both state and federal authorities to transfer his two-year parole to Texas in his conviction in the text message scandal.

He must report to authorities there within 24 hours of his release.

Kilpatrick also must make an "earnest effort to find employment," and his parole supervisor will set an amount and schedule for him to make payments toward the $861,000 he still owes on $1 million restitution he promised the city of Detroit.

Kilpatrick's plan to do that appears to be similar to the path back to prosperity paved by his controversial book publisher, William "Tank" Black.

Black, a former NFL agent, saw his empire implode when he pleaded guilty to federal money laundering charges and served eight years behind bars.

Before the federal charges, Black represented numerous first-round draft picks, including the Lions' Barry Sanders. On his release from prison in 2009, he wrote a book titled "Tanked."

Records in South Carolina show Black founded Creative Publishing Consultants, the same company apparently publishing Kilpatrick's book.

The business dissolved, but was reincorporated Dec. 1, 2010, in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Attempts to reach Black and another reported representative of the publisher by phone and email went unreturned.

Kilpatrick and Black both have worshipped at The Potters House, the Dallas megachurch headed by Bishop T.D. Jakes not far from Grand Prairie, Texas, where Carlita Kilpatrick and her three sons are living. Both also have been represented in court by Thomas.

"I am not surprised by a connection between Tank and Kwame," said Kilpatrick attorney Thomas.

"They have had similar experiences, their Detroit connections, they both played college football. Tank was very successful, and it all went south on him when he got involved in the money laundering thing here in Michigan.

"When he came out of prison, he still had a lot of energy, and he has done very well. If Kwame can model himself after Tank, great."

Kilpatrick, through social media postings to the Internet from behind bars, has hinted about stepping away from politics "for now," but continuing his public outreach, including establishing a new dialogue with Detroiters.

Kilpatrick's former New York-based public relations advisor, Mike Paul, said while he believes Kilpatrick will always say he is a Detroiter, if he returns to politics, it likely will be from his new home in Texas.

"His stage is a national one now," said Paul. "He could be a consultant, an analyst, he could help young black men, because there are those who will look up to him if he shares a message about what he did wrong and how he has come to understand the need to move on."

"There also has been talk about public speaking," Paul said, "but he's not Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani or Bill Clinton. He's not going to get $100,000 per speech, but that doesn't mean he can't make $10,000 to $30,000 a speech from someone who can see value in the kind of crowd he could draw. His is a global story.