Kwame Kilpatrick, the disgraced and imprisoned former mayor of Detroit, not only imploded his own brilliant political career because of supreme arrogance and corruption, he ignited the blaze that consumed a powerful black political dynasty. Now, he wants to write a tell-all book detailing it.
As Detroit teeters on the edge of fiscal viability and has become an urban wasteland of crime-ridden streets and a dilapidated infrastructure, Kilpatrick is releasing a biography late this summer titled Surrendered: The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick.
The book should actually be titled Made to Surrender under a Mountain of State and Federal Evidence of Corruption That Impaled the Heart of Detroit.
Unlike infamous former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry, Kilpatrick doesn’t plan a return to any campaign trail once he’s released from prison, where he’s serving a five-year sentence for obstruction of justice and violating probation. But at least he admitted that his wrongdoing helped spiral his hometown deeper into the abyss it’s been trying to crawl out of, though that’s little solace to the residents who can’t afford to leave.
“Yes, I broke the law,” he said.
Kilpatrick also detailed the violence and suffering that he’s witnessed since being incarcerated. As a result, Kilpatrick is now petitioning for early release because of “good behavior” while behind bars. To help pay the $1 million in fines he owes the court, “Any money that I make — any dime, any penny I make — will go to pay restitution,” says Kilpatrick. “One of the things I’ve learned over the past year is to be a man of my word.”
The timing is a little off, if you ask Detroiters. But at least he won’t ever again seek political office, not that he’d ever have a chance to get close enough to smell the mayoral chambers.
“I don’t want to work for anybody ever again. I need to work and be in my own company,” he told the Associated Press. “I have set up a great deal of opportunities for myself and opportunities to first make reconciliation to the city of Detroit. More than anything else, I have been given a great amount of gifts, and there are people, fortunately, who want for me to help them.”
Too bad he didn’t have this attitude when the people of Detroit looked to him for help before the scandal cost the city tens of millions of desperately needed dollars.