Kwame, a Helicopter and the Fall of Saigon
For some reason, when I think of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, I can’t help but think of Vietnam in 1975 when American helicopters came to rescue folks during the fall of Saigon.
Well, I thought of that, and I envisioned a helicopter landing on the roof of the City-County Building -- just like in Vietnam -- and whisking away the disgraced Kwame on his final day in office in 2008. And I can see Kwame yelling from the helicopter to his sullen staff: “Don’t forget to pay Bobby Ferguson.”
The helicopter, yes. But the other part? Not so far fetched.
In case you haven’t been following this, Ferguson, a contractor, is a good pal of Kwame’s and he’s on trial in downtown Detroit in a 12-million bid-rigging case involving a low-income housing project. Ferguson got a lucrative multi-million contract with the help of Kwame. The feds claim he got it through fraud and deceit.
Robert Snell of the Detroit News reported that during the third day of the Ferguson trial, Kilpatrick’s former deputy mayor Kandia Milton testified that one of the top priorities of the administration in the final days of his disgraced regime, was to pay Ferguson.
The News reported that the day before Kilpatrick quit on Sept. 18, 2008, the mayor and Milton signed a $1.3 million check over to a Ferguson-related company.
Imagine that. You’re leaving in disgrace and that’s what you think about. Not the citizens you let down. Not the impoverished city which doesn’t have enough cops and firefighters. Not the national disgrace you created.
These are painful times.
This trial only reminds us how these self-absorbed people got rich off such a poor city.
It’s kind of akin to someone robbing a food bank or a fat-cat swindling seniors out of their life savings. That's who we're dealing with here.
Now if only a helicopter could whisk away the bad memories the citizens have of the Kwame regime. We should be so lucky.