Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption that turned city hall into a pay-to-play parlor.
Kilpatrick was convicted earlier this year of two dozen crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery and extortion. There was evidence of shakedowns, kickbacks and strong-arm tactics to reaped tens of thousands of dollars and other benefits from people who wanted city business.
The sentence was a victory for prosecutors, who had recommended Kilpatrick serve at least 28 years in prison, while defense attorneys argued for no more than 15 years.
Kilpatrick quit office in 2008 after a different scandal involving sexually explicit text messages and an extramarital affair. The 43-year-old Democrat served as mayor for nearly seven years.
Detroit's chief federal prosecutor says she's extremely pleased with the 28-year prison sentence ordered for ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says the sentence sends a "powerful message" that corruption won't be tolerated. The investigation took years, but McQuade says it was "money well spent."
Kilpatrick was sent to prison Thursday by federal Judge Nancy Edmunds, months after a jury convicted him of conspiracy, bribery, extortion, fraud and tax crimes.
Kilpatrick denies stealing money from Detroit but says he was sorry for letting people down. McQuade says the denial is unfortunate, especially when there was evidence that city contracts cost more when Kilpatrick steered business to his pal Bobby Ferguson.