background preloader

From then until now: A look at Detroit's corrupt political past

From then until now: A look at Detroit's corrupt political past
A lot of you are probably happy that disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is going to spend most of his life in federal prison. I don't like people that steal from me and my children either. A lot of you probably think that Detroit's corruption started "40 years ago" -- that's code for Coleman A. Young, Detroit's first black mayor and a Democrat. But what if I told you it is not just a Democrat thing? It's not just a black thing. Over the past 80 years, five Detroit mayors and four county executives have either been sent to prison, were the subjects of federal probes, or were removed from office. It's true. The year was 1929, Republican Charles E. On the night of his removal, Jerry Buckley, a popular radio show host who bitterly fought for Bowles' removal, was shot dead from the hotel lobby from where he broadcast. Kilpatrick isn't even the biggest corruption scandal to rock Detroit. Louis Miriani was the last Republican mayor of Detroit, serving from 1957-62. Coleman A. It's politics.

Related:  econ research paperKilPatrick/terms in office/voting/electionsecon/english research papermorganas research paper

“Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit” By Todd ZywickiFebruary 10, 2014 A couple of weeks ago I attended the premiere of the new movie “Bankrupt: How Cronyism and Corruption Brought Down Detroit.” It is a terrific movie and traces the dual collapse of the American automotive industry and the city of Detroit. How corruption deepened Detroit's crisis DETROIT -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was a spender, a schemer and a liar. And taxpayers paid for it, by the millions. Over seven years, Kilpatrick's public corruption schemes, lavish lifestyle and ethical missteps cost taxpayers at least $20 million, a tab the financially strapped city was in no position to pick up but did anyway — usually without knowing. On Thursday, Kilpatrick will be sentenced for 24 corruption convictions. As he heads to federal prison for what could be decades, one important question lingers: How much did his extortion, kickback and bribery rackets contribute to the city's financial crisis and its filing in July for the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation's history? "Kilpatrick is not the main culprit of the city's historic bankruptcy, which is the result of larger social and economic forces at work for decade," federal prosecutors said in court documents.

The Face of Pension Reform: Detroit Firefighters Lament Potential Cuts In February 2007, Walt Grysko was barreling through the streets of Detroit en route to a fire when his firetruck was t-boned by a car exceeding 70 miles per hour. The crash sent Grysko through the windshield and hurled him 60 feet away, breaking his back in five places. The firetruck’s driver, 47-year-old Joe Torkos, died. Public Corruption: Inside the Kwame Kilpatrick Case The case of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who stole from citizens he vowed to serve. When Kwame Kilpatrick became mayor of Detroit in 2002, he promised to revitalize the city. Instead, he shamelessly used his position to steal from the citizens he had vowed to serve.

Corrupt educators are threatening school reform By Robert C. Bobb April 25, 2013 Robert Bobb is a former D.C. city administrator, former president of the D.C. Board of Education and the D.C. State Board of Education, and the former emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools. His e-mail address is Michigan House votes to end February elections LANSING, MI -- Michigan would eliminate February elections under legislation approved Thursday by the Michigan House, limiting local and statewide elections to three dates a year. Supporters say optional February elections often feature single-issue ballot questions on school millages or bonds but are marked by low voter turnout. "This is pro-taxpayer and good government legislation," Rep. Lisa Lyons, R-Alto, said in a statement. "...It just makes sense that questions of increased taxes or fees are posed in elections when more voters participate." The six-bill package passed the House by fairly wide margins -- a main proposal advanced to the Senate in a 93-17 vote -- but Rep.

For Detroit, a Crisis Born of Bad Decisions and False Hope DETROIT — This city was already sinking under hundreds of millions of dollars in bills that it could not pay when a municipal auditor brought in a veteran financial consultant to dig through the books. A seasoned turnaround man and former actuary with Ford Motor Co., he was stunned by what he found: an additional $7.2 billion in retiree health costs that had never been reported, or even tallied up. “The city must take some drastic steps,” the consultant, John Boyle, warned the City Council in delivering his report at a public meeting in 2005. Among the options he suggested was filing for bankruptcy.

Unfunded public pensions and corruption broke Detroit's back WASHINGTON, May 26, 2014 — Detroit is the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy. Its long-term debts are estimated at $18.2 billion. Of this, about $9.2 billion is in unfunded retirement benefits. Nearly half of Detroit’s liabilities stem from promises of pensions and health care to its workers when they retire. 4 Detroit police officers suspended following probe Residents and officials Sunday said the recent suspension of four Detroit police officers means the department is serious about weeding out corruption now that a decade of federal oversight has ended. The Detroit News reported Saturday the four officers were suspended after two separate investigations, including a federal probe into alleged wrongdoing in the department's disbanded Narcotics Section. "We're in dire need of a functional narcotics division to address the drug problem in Detroit," said Willie Bell, chairman of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. "And after coming out from under the consent degrees, this is no time for corruption to set in.

The high cost of corruption: How Kwame Kilpatrick's crimes deepened Detroit's crisis Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was a spender, a schemer and a liar. And taxpayers paid for it, by the millions. Over seven years, Kilpatrick’s public corruption schemes, lavish lifestyle and ethical missteps cost taxpayers at least $20 million, a tab the financially strapped city was in no position to pick up but did anyway — usually without knowing. ■ Full coverage:Kwame Kilpatrick public corruption scandal ■ Interactive timeline:Kilpatrick public corruption scandal, 2001-2013

Detroit’s Emergency Manager Offers Dire Report on City DETROIT — An emergency manager assigned to lead this city back from the brink of financial ruin has taken his first detailed look at Detroit’s woes, and the picture of debt and disarray he paints may be bleaker even than earlier grim portrayals. In a report to be presented to Michigan’s treasurer on Monday, Kevyn D. Orr, the emergency manager appointed in March to take over operations here, described long-term obligations of at least $15 billion, unsustainable cash flow shortages and miserably low credit ratings that make it difficult to borrow.

Detroit demolishes its ruins: 'The capitalists will take care of the rest' Shervonne Colvin is ecstatic. This spring, one streetlight was turned back on at the end of her block. Last month, almost one third of her block was razed to the ground by demolition trucks. That would hardly excite most city dwellers, but Colvin doesn’t live in just any city. She lives in Detroit, where municipal neglect has become customary. Detroit has been the unwitting star of a photo subgenre christened “ruin porn”, with fans in all corners of the world – except in its native hometown. Detroit Police Chief And Former Deputy Charged With Theft DETROIT, Feb. 11— Detroit's Police Chief and his former civilian deputy were indicted by a Federal grand jury today and charged with stealing $2.6 million from a police undercover operations fund. The indictment of the Chief, William L. Hart, a 67-year-old career member of the department, came after an 18-month investigation by Federal agents into what they said was the disappearance of money from a secret fund used to pay informers, buy drugs and conduct undercover investigations.