The US Attorney in Michigan obtained a conviction on corruption charges against the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, his associates and his father. The charges were astonishingly similar to the fact pattern involved in the awarding of the contract worth a billion dollars by the Martinez administration to the Downs at Albuquerque.
Kilpatrick’s enterprise, as the government dubbed his co-conspirators, functioned as a unit predetermining contracts for favored bidders.
Kilpatrick was convicted of obstruction of justice including his efforts to prevent a federal investigation by concealing public information from agencies with oversight, manipulating the media to prevent coverage of their actions, witness intimidation and other actions designed to prevent his being prosecuted.
Among the charges Kilpatrick was convicted on included receiving campaign contributions and PAC contributions in exchange for favored treatment of a casino developer.
This is no different from the contributions to Governor Susana Martinez’s campaign and political action committee.
In return for those contributions, Kilpatrick attempted to extend a lease for the casino developer. That should sound familiar since that is exactly what Martinez did.
Kilpatrick was convicted of rigging the bidding process to ensure that a specific contractor won the contract despite not having the most beneficial bid for the public. Evaluations were skewed to ensure a predetermined outcome.
Not unlike Susana Martinez personally selecting the evaluators including one that was very close to her top adviser Jay McCleskey, or Martinez’s counsel not permitting Laguna Development to negotiate as the Downs was allowed to do, despite Laguna being declared a finalist.
To win bids, companies had to hire a favored friend as a “consultant” including on security contracts. The consultant was paid between $10-15K per month, and was later hired by the same company after the contract was awarded.
Sound familiar? It is just like Jay McCleskey’s BFF and perennial Martinez favorite Darren White being hired by the Downs as a “security consultant” during the bidding process. White then received a succession of highly paid positions from the Downs’ ownership, despite having no qualifications for them.
The US Attorney in Michigan pursued these charges against Kilpatrick despite his being at one time considered a rising star in the Democratic party so too did the US Attorney in Louisiana who brought corruption charges against Ray Nagin the former mayor of New Orleans also considered a rising star in Democratic politics.