Kwame Kilpatrick put the 'FUN' in Civic Fund - New York News

Kwame Kilpatrick put the 'FUN' in Civic Fund

Posted: Updated:
Kwame Kilpatrick , seen here while he was still Detroit's mayor. Kwame Kilpatrick , seen here while he was still Detroit's mayor.

By M.L. Elrick
Fox 2 Investigative Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- The Kilpatrick Civic Fund espoused lofty goals:

"To promote community activities that enhance the neighborhoods in which the citizens of Detroit reside as well as those activities that contribute to the betterment of the lives of the youth of Detroit and surrounding communities."

But in 10 years of reporting on the nonprofit's activities, I have yet to see proof that it spent any of the more than $1.8 million it raised on its noble purpose.

Instead, that loot was spent on:

A Cadillac DeVille for Kwame Kilpatrick;

Political polling for Kilpatrick's first mayoral campaign;

A romantic getaway in Vail for Kilpatrick and mistress Christine Beatty;

Yoga lessons for Kilpatrick and his associates;

Golf clubs and a carry bag embroidered with "MAYOR";

A stay at a luxury resort for Kilpatrick and his family;

Camp fees for the sons of Kilpatrick and a former frat buddy;

Countersurveillance equipment;

Crisis managers;

A donation to Kilpatrick's alma mater (which he later falsely claimed as a deduction on his personal tax return);

Tuition assistance for Kilpatrick's half-sister and cousin;

Stays at water parks for Kilpatrick family and friends;

A six-figure consulting fee for Kilpatrick's mistress;

Rent for the nonprofit after it moved into his sister's house;

Moving costs for Kilpatrick's family;

And rent for Kilpatrick's family.

Since its founding in 1999, the nonprofit's officials have refused to disclose specifics on expenditures that would benefit anyone who is not a friend or family member of Kwame Kilpatrick.

The closest they've ever come was in 2007 when, responding to criticism of a luxury resort stay by Kilpatrick and his family, Beatty and another Kilpatrick Civic Fund leader said the mayor spent some of the trip soliciting donations for the fund. They refused to identify with whom Kilpatrick met.

They also claimed the fund paid for voter-education drives, town meetings to educate seniors on the dangers of reverse mortgages, and money for marching bands and Detroit public schools. Again, they offered no specifics.

Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas has argued in court that spending that burnished Kilpatrick's image was justified because, as the titular head of the fund, any taint to his name would affect fundraising.

And, as we all know, Kilpatrick did plenty during his six years as mayor to taint his name.

Unfortunately, it appears the fund spent so much money repairing Kilpatrick's image -- and raising money so it could spend money to repair Kilpatrick's image -- that there was little left to help the people the fund was supposedly created to help.

Hopefully, Thomas will provide some evidence that ordinary Detroiters benefited in some way -- any way -- from the fund after the defense goes on the offense.

In the meantime, we're left with the distinct impression that the nonprofit's real purpose is buried within its name.

Take the D, 2 Cs, V and 2 Is out of "Kilpatrick Civic Fund," and you're left with the account's REAL purpose:

K-I-L-P-A-T-R-I-C-K  F-U-N.

Follow M.L. Elrick's coverage of the Kilpatrick & Co. trial daily on FOX 2 and at www.myfoxdetroit.com. Contact him at ml.elrick@foxtv.com or via Twitter (@elrick) or Facebook. And catch him every Friday morning around 7:15 a.m. on Drew & Mike on WRIF, 101.1 FM. He is co-author of "The Kwame Sutra: Musings on Lust, Life and Leadership from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick," available at www.kwamesutra.com. A portion of sales benefit the Eagle Sports Club and Soar Tutoring. Learn more at www.eaglesports.com.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NY man arrested on DWI charge after friend killed

    NY man arrested on DWI charge after friend killed

    Police say a Long Island man struck and killed a friend after she got out of his car and started walking because she believed he was drunk.
    Police say a Long Island man struck and killed a friend after she got out of his car and started walking because she believed he was drunk.
  • Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday Night Live: July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:31:59 GMT
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, Stephen "Twitch" Boss, actress Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michael Chernow and Chef Daniel Holzman of the Meatball Shop.
  • G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    G subway line shutting down for 5 weeks

    Friday, July 25 2014 9:37 PM EDT2014-07-26 01:37:26 GMT
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
    Beginning Friday night, a portion of the G subway line that connects Brooklyn and Queens will be shut down for five weeks.
    The MTA says there will be no service between the Nassau Avenue station in Greenpoint and Court Square in Long Island City until Sept. 2.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    FBI joins the search for Armada teen's killer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-07-26 03:08:38 GMT
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap.
    The FBI has joined the investigation team searching for the killer of a 14-year-old Armada girl, April Millsap. Authorities also say they are now looking for a small motorcycle in addition to the gray, dented van seen in the area.
  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Man hospitalized after run-in with Ecorse police

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:05 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:05:54 GMT
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
    Witnesses and lawyers say a man was attacked by Ecorse police Monday morning even though he was complying with police demands.
  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:20 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:20:27 GMT
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Thursday, October 10 2013 9:33 PM EDT2013-10-11 01:33:28 GMT
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
  • No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    Thursday, May 29 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-05-30 03:32:53 GMT
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices