Verdict in ex-Detroit mayor corruption trial

March 11, 2013
FILE - In this Jan 25, 2013 file photo, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick leaves federal court in Detroit. A court spokesman said Monday, March 11, 2013, that jurors have reached a verdict in Kilpatrick's corruption trial. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Jurors reached a verdict Monday in the federal corruption trial of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after 14 days of deliberations.

Lawyers for Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and city contractor Bobby Ferguson were summoned to Detroit federal court. The verdict was to be read Monday morning, court spokesman Rod Hansen said in an email.

Kilpatrick is charged with turning the mayor's office into a cash machine by collecting kickbacks and bribes from people who wanted city business. He's also charged with looting a nonprofit fund that he created to help distressed Detroiters.

Kwame Kilpatrick arrived at court roughly 20 minutes before the verdict was to be read and didn't comment to reporters. Bernard Kilpatrick, who arrived separately, said his family was doing "better than expected."

Prosecutors say Kwame Kilpatrick rigged contracts that benefited Ferguson's construction company. In turn, the government says Kilpatrick got a cut of the spoils Kilpatrick's lawyer says the former mayor simply got cash gifts from political supporters and city employees while in office.

Kilpatrick is charged with 30 crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax evasion. His father, Bernard, is a co-defendant along with Ferguson. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. To convict on that count, the jury must find that at least one of them agreed to commit two crimes, such as extortion, bribery or fraud.

The main theme of the government's case is that Kwame Kilpatrick ensured that Ferguson got city excavation work and then enjoyed the cash spoils. But he also is accused of strong-arming other contractors to give public jobs to Ferguson and shaking down businesses.

Kilpatrick, a Democrat, resigned as mayor in 2008 in another scandal. He pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about whether he had had sex with a top aide. He subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.