BY M.L. ELRICK – FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Kwame Kilpatrick has already paid $87,000 of the $1 million he owes the City of Detroit.
At 3 p.m. today, Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner is set to tell the former Detroit mayor whether he has to shell out a whole lot more.
Watch the restitution hearing – and follow our blog – live today on freep.com. The decision will be handed down at Detroit’s Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, where felony cases are handled. Kilpatrick is expected to attend. The proceeding is open to the public.
Groner’s decision will conclude a protracted restitution hearing that began in October. Six days of testimony were spread out over three months to accommodate the work schedule of Kilpatrick, who now lives with his family in Southlake, Texas and works out of Addison, a suburb of Dallas, as a software salesman for Covisint, a subsidiary of Compuware.
In closing arguments, held Jan. 12, prosecutors accused Kilpatrick of hiding his assets and asked Groner to order Kilpatrick to pay $225,000 in the near future and place restrictions on his spending. The former mayor’s attorney, Michael Alan Schwartz, said Kilpatrick has complied with Groner’s orders and asked the judge not to impose any new requirements.
At issue is whether Kilpatrick is paying as much as he should toward the $1 million he owes the City of Detroit under the terms of the plea deal he signed on Sept. 4, 2008 to end criminal proceedings against him stemming from the text message scandal.
In addition to the restitution payment, Kilpatrick agreed to:
• Serve up to 120 days in jail.
• Resign as mayor of Detroit.
• Agree not to run for public office for five years.
• Serve five years on probation.
• Surrender his law license.
So far, Kilpatrick has paid $87,000, said Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan.
His annual salary at Covisint is $120,000 and can increase to as much as $300,000, with commissions.
Kilpatrick is up to date on his current monthly restitution obligations, paying $3,000 on Jan. 7 — eight days before the payment was due.
AMY LANGE – WJBK | MYFOX DETROIT
DETROIT – It certainly felt like it would never end, but the judge rules Wednesday afternoon in the Kwame Kilpatrick restitution hearing and many are wondering will he be ordered to pay more money or back to jail.
Prosecutors say Kilpatrick plead poverty while frivolously spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and not disclosing it — a far cry from the six bucks he said he had at the end of the month.
“The claim that there’s only six dollars left is certainly an example of very creative accounting,” said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor.
Henning says he expects Judge Groner to impose strict disclosure rules on the former mayor and could require him to pay more money each month.
Prosecutors say he violated his probation, but Henning says the judge won’t rule on that Wednesday.
“We won’t see that simply because this hasn’t gone through the correct procedures for finding a probation violation,” Henning said.
Instead, if prosecutors pursue to probation violation charge it could be another long hearing. The restitution case started in October.
“What we have seen to this point is probably the first act in a two or three act play, and, like any hearing, it could drag on for as long as this restitution hearing has,” said Henning.
Wednesday’s hearing is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. You can watch it live on myFOXDetroit.com.