Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick convicted in corruption case

March 11, 2013  |   Criminal Law
By Paul Caron, CNN
updated 12:55 PM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013

(CNN) — A jury on Monday convicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of most of the federal charges against him — including racketeering conspiracy, extortion and the filing of false tax returns — in a case that accused him of using the mayor’s office to enrich himself and associates, CNN affiliate WDIV-TV reported.

Contractor Bobby Ferguson also was found guilty Monday of racketeering and extortion. Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was found guilty of a single tax count, and not guilty on two others charges, according to WDIV.

Kwame Kilpatrick, the Detroit mayor from 2002 until he resigned in 2008, was the biggest target of a years-long Detroit City Hall corruption probe that led to the convictions of two dozen people, including several of his closest friends and former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers.

Ex-Detroit mayor got free trips from pension fund broker, feds say

The former mayor was found guilty on 24 of 30 counts in federal court in Detroit. He could face up to 20 years in prison; sentencing did not take place Monday morning.

Federal prosecutors alleged Kilpatrick ran a criminal enterprise through the mayor’s office to enrich himself through bid rigging and extortion, and using nonprofit funds for personal gain.

The judge will hold a hearing Monday afternoon to decide if Kilpatrick can remain free until his sentencing.

When reporters asked Kilpatrick for a reaction to the verdict as he left the courthouse, he said, “Not at this time.”

Prosecutors said the defendants were “working together to abuse Kilpatrick’s public offices, both his position as a state representative as well as his position of mayor of Detroit, to unjustly enrich themselves through a pattern of extortion, bribery and fraud.”

At the heart of the scheme was corruption in municipal contracting, mostly centering on the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, said Barbara McQuade, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Derrick Miller, a former Kilpatrick aide, entered into a plea agreement last year and is expected to testify against his former associates.

In September 2008, the ex-mayor pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice stemming from his efforts to cover up an extramarital affair.

He also pleaded no contest to charges of assaulting a police officer who was attempting to serve a subpoena on a Kilpatrick friend in that case.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/11/justice/michigan-kilpatrick-verdict/index.html?iref=allsearch

Third Annual Symposium- March 8, 2013 at The Detroit Athletic Club

March 11, 2013  |   Immigration Law

On Friday, March 8 , 2013 we were honored to attend University of Detroit Mercy’s Third Annual Symposium for Global Michigan: Immigration and Economic Growth. The Symposium targeted local approaches to immigration, high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, federal immigration policy and local development and economic and human rights issues on the Canada-U.S. border. A few of the Symposium speakers included our very own Rick Snyder, Governor of the State of Michigan, Gary Peters, U.S. Representative of the 14th Congressional District of Michigan, Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director of American Immigration Council, and  Lisa Atkins, Director of Immigration Policy from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Honored to meat Governor Rick Snyder, Lloyed Sempel Dean of Law at University of Detroit Mercy, and Antoine Garibaldi President of University of Detroit Mercy.

Honored to meet Governor Rick Snyder, Lloyed Sempel Dean of Law at University of Detroit Mercy, and Antoine Garibaldi President of University of Detroit Mercy.

Michigan Law- Point System

February 22, 2013  |   Criminal Law

SOS – Point System.

Point System

Under Michigan law, some traffic violations are civil infractions while others are misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on the violation and how it is resolved, you may be fined, referred to a special program or, in the most serious situations, sent to jail. In most cases, if you do not take care of a traffic ticket, your driver license will be suspended.

Each time you are convicted of a traffic violation, you will have to pay certain court fines and costs. In addition, points may be posted to your driver record. Under Michigan’s point system, each traffic violation has a point value, which is set by law in the Michigan Vehicle Code. Points are placed on your driver record only after you have been convicted or found guilty of or responsible for a civil infraction. Points placed on your driver record remain there for two years from the date of conviction. If you believe there are extenuating circumstances for the ticket you received, these must be submitted when you appear in court. The Secretary of State cannot set aside a court conviction or the points for it. The following shows the points for some traffic violations:

Points For Some Traffic Convictions*

Six Points:

  • Manslaughter, negligent homicide, or other felony involving use of a motor vehicle.
  • Operating under the influence of liquor or drugs.
  • Failing to stop and give identification at the scene of a crash.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Unlawful bodily alcohol content of 0.08 or more.
  • Refusal to take a chemical test.
  • Fleeing or eluding a police officer.

Four Points:

  • Drag racing.
  • Operating while visibly impaired.
  • Under age 21 with any bodily alcohol content.
  • 16 mph or more over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to yield/show due caution for emergency vehicles.

Three Points:

  • Careless driving.
  • Disobeying a traffic signal or stop sign or improper passing.
  • 11 through 15 mph over the legal speed limit.
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossing.
  • Failure to stop for a school bus or for disobeying a school crossing guard.

Two Points:

  • 10 mph or less over the legal speed limit.
  • Open alcohol container in vehicle.
  • All other moving violations of traffic laws.
  • Refusal of Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) by anyone under age 21.

*Please note that snowmobile and off-road vehicle (ORV) alcohol-conviction points are placed on a driver record and may result in licensing action against your driving privileges even though the violation happened while operating a snowmobile or ORV.