(WWJ) In the latest effort from supporters of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to free him from prison, state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo will be going to the White House to request clemency.
She's attending as part of a Black History Month celebration and says she will take with her a letter signed by Detroit Caucus members and elected officials.
At the same time, Kilpatrick's release suddenly seems to have the surprise support of Detroit's current mayor, Mike Duggan. Duggan said Thursday that Kilpatrick has a lot left to contribute to the community.
"He's an enormously talented person and I think that talent could do a lot of good in the community," Duggan said, adding, "It's not my place to tell the president what to do and it wouldn't be helpful if I did, but I think Kwame Kilpatrick still has a lot to contribute and I hope he has a chance."
While he seems to be lending his voice in support, Duggan, added he wanted to be careful with what he said so he "doesn't get in the way of anything."
This latest attempt to get Kilpatrick released from behind bars comes after President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of similarly disgraced politician Rod R. Blagojevich, a former Democratic governor of Illinois who was convicted of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became president. “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence, in my opinion,” Trump said, announcing Blagojevich would go free after eight years in prison.
Kilpatrick is currently serving a 28-year sentence for financial crimes and racketeering related to kickback schemes while in office. He started the sentence in 2013.
His time behind bars has been long enough, also according to millionaire businessman Peter Karmanos, who is also lobbying for a Kilpatrick pardon from Trump.
Karmanos, minority owner of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, said on a local podcast he believes Kilpatrick did nothing wrong.
"What you guys saw was a modern-day lynching," Karmanos said on the podcast.
Karmanos says he forwarded a letter from Kilpatrick to Trump, asking for the sentence to be commuted to time served.
The president is considering the request, according to Karmanos, who added on the podcast that Kilpatrick was a good mayor.