While former Detorit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick braced for one of the longest prison sentences ever handed down to a corrupt politician yesterday, a company caught up in his racketeering scandal staked a claim to millions in restitution that could be awarded to the bankrupt city, reports the Detroit News. Construction company Walbridge wants as much as $5 million in restitution that prosecutors want awarded to Detroit because company officials argue the firm was victimized by Kilpatrick's criminal scheme.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced Kilpatrick to 28 years in prison and castigated him for living “larger than life” on millions of dollars he stole after creating a “corrosive pay-to-play” system in city hall. “I hope that the sentence that I'm about to impose will give that message, that we're demanding accountability and transparency in our government,” she said. “That where there has been corruption, there will be no more. We are done.” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade did not address the Walbridge restitution claim but said companies identified in the corruption indictment share some culpability. “In some ways, they are all culpable because they participated in a pay-to-play culture,” she said. “Some are victims because they lost business after they failed to play along.”