Monday, June 14, 2010

Stupidity at the Free Press

Detroit Free Press Editorial Writer Jeff Gerritt recently commented on the possibility of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick having to attend boot camp. The main point of Gerritt's column was about the fact that this was not a case of special treatment, nor should the prosecutor Kym Worthy be involved in his sentencing. Prisoners serving three years or less have the option of attending a military-style bootcamp.

I have no objection to that. What could only be a case of jaw-dropping stupidity was the commentary in the final paragraph where Gerritt said "I’m not happy with how Kilpatrick abused his office and authority, but he doesn't need to be in prison, where he's costing taxpayers $35,000 a year instead of working to pay off his considerable debts to the city."

Kilpatrick after serving 90 days in jail was given a new job with a $300,000+ salary in Texas. He was ordered to pay $1 million in restitution to the City of Detroit. Kilpatrick did everything possible and more to avoid making any payment whatsoever; at one point he even claimed he could only pay $6 a month to the city.

After a year's worth of hand-wringing, Judge David Groner finally held Kilpatrick in contempt of court and sentenced him to 1.5 to 5 years in prison. Gerritt's logic is that Kilpatrick can't pay off what he owes the city if he's in jail. Functional logic tells us Detroit is not getting the money back anyway. Once sentenced, Kilpatrick lost his job selling software for Compuware in Texas.

The problem with Kilpatrick is, like current Mayor Dave Bing said, every time he's in the news, it makes it that much harder to move the city forward. He's a distraction. An impediment. Sending him away for five years would do more good for the city than him being out looking for work, finding a job, and repeating the same cycle of hiding assets in court. You're not getting the money back.

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