Detroit Mayor Finally Removed from Office, Project 21 Member’s Suggestions Finally Acted Upon

After months of controversy, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) finally admitted his guilt this morning and resigned from office. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice related to his lying under oath during a police investigation into his political inner-circle.

In addition to Kilpatrick’s resignation, he is expected to serve up to four months in jail, five years of probation, up to a $1 million in fines and at least a temporary revocation of his law license.

Back in April, Project 21 member Tara Setmayer wrote a New Visions Commentary entitled “Haters Didn’t Hurt the Hip-Hop Mayor, He Did” that points out how politicians have a duty to live up to the public trust. If they want to live fast-and-loose, as Kilpatrick did, Setmayer noted that public office is not the place for them.

Among other things, Setmayer wrote:

From Marion Barry to Eliot Spitzer and Richard Nixon to Mark Foley, character and integrity – or the lack thereof – know no party affiliation or skin color.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, “King Kwame” or the “Hip-Hop Mayor” to some, is yet another example of a politician drowning in his own narcissistic sense of infallibility. The opportunity to earn the public trust is a privilege, and politicians often forget who they are working for.

Anyone aware of Mayor Kirkpatrick’s tenure shouldn’t be surprised. Arrogance and a sense of entitlement are a recipe for disaster, especially when the resources of an entire city are at one’s disposal and “yes men” who occupy high-ranking city positions act as enablers.

She added:

I’m sick and tired of people saying the very serious felony charges are the product of an overambitious prosecutor’s witch-hunt over a sexual affair. Let’s not forget that Mayor Kilpatrick not only took an oath to uphold his office with honor, but another to honor his marriage. He has apparently failed miserably at both and has only himself to blame.

We all make mistakes, but part of learning from those mistakes is accepting responsibility for them. This often requires paying a heavy price.

No one is above the law. Not even Mayor Kilpatrick. Not even in Detroit. No matter how large the entourage, how luxurious the vehicle or how flamboyant his clothing, he is still a public servant accountable to the people of Detroit.

If the Hip-Hop Mayor wants to live the lifestyle of a 50 Cent, he needs to relinquish his public office and become a member of G-Unit on his own time – not on the taxpayers’ dime.

This post was written by National Center for Public Policy Research Executive Director David Almasi. To send comments to the author, write him at [email protected]. Please state if a letter is not for publication or if you prefer that it be published anonymously.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.