Money transfer could land Kwame Kilpatrick back in prison - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Money transfer could land Kwame Kilpatrick back in prison

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Kwame Kilpatrick, seen here on security camera inside a Chesterfield Twp., Mich. Walmart in December. Kwame Kilpatrick, seen here on security camera inside a Chesterfield Twp., Mich. Walmart in December.
Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church in Chicago. (Courtesy: myFOXChicago.com) Pastor Corey Brooks of New Beginnings Church in Chicago. (Courtesy: myFOXChicago.com)
Two tweets retweeted by Pastor Corey Brooks on his Twitter page late Monday night. Two tweets retweeted by Pastor Corey Brooks on his Twitter page late Monday night.

By FOX 2 News Staff

DETROIT (WJBK) -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick may be headed back to prison for failing to report a $2,000 gift from a Chicago pastor, based on information uncovered by FOX 2's M.L. Elrick.

Kilpatrick was caught on a Walmart security camera in Chesterfield Twp. last December cashing a $2,000 wire transfer from Pastor Corey Brooks, a prodigious fundraiser and growing leader in Chicago's religious community. But that's not why Kilpatrick is in trouble. The problem is he failed to report the gift, a possible parole violation.

Elrick received a tip about the money transfer and tipped off corrections officials. Officials confirmed that Kilpatrick pocketed at least $800 of the money he received and wired about $1,100 to Texas, where his family lives.

Pastor Brooks says he wired the money after Kilpatrick sent him a letter pleading for help. He says he did nothing illegal by sending Kilpatrick the money, which he says came from church funds. "He didn't render any sort of work for it. It was a gift. It was a benevolence gift," Brooks insisted to FOX 32 News. "It was a Christmas gift."

But Kilpatrick could be in trouble because he owes the city of Detroit hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution.

"Part of his parole conditions are that he has to report to us any income that he receives, any gifts that he receives during the month," said Russ Marlan from the Michigan Department of Corrections.  "The problem is he reported zero dollars in income, zero dollars in gifts for the month of December."

Marlan says corrections officials will interview Kilpatrick about the money, his failure to report it and make a recommendation to the parole board, which will determine his fate. So far, things don't look good.

State officials will also try to determine whether Kilpatrick received other payments, but they say he could avoided all of this if only he had come clean.

Kilpatrick has been apologetic, at least to Brooks. The pastor informed him Monday that FOX 2 discovered the payment. Brooks says Kilpatrick apologized in a text and in a tweet.

While Brooks says the money wasn't easy to come by, he is glad his congregation helped out a man who is well-dressed, but apparently, not well-off.

Kilpatrick says it's a trivial matter, but he has to be concerned about being sent back to prison because he says people in these parts just love to pick on him.

"Kwame Kilpatrick and this is Michigan and Detroit and the rules are different for me.  So it's definitely something that I want to make sure that we stay on the right side, which we are."

Kilpatrick also says he hasn't violated any rules.

Click on the second video in the player above to watch M.L. Elrick's interview with Daniel Hajji, the attorney that represents the former mayor on all restitution matters.

Kilpatrick resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about having sex with an aide. He subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.

-- Parts of this report courtesy of Dane Placko, FOX 32 News Investigative Reporter

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