The people of East Brunswick know just how hard the recession was and it was not just individuals who were hurting. Small businesses and cities also felt the toll of too few resources, sending many into bankruptcy. What has also come out of this recession are white-collar criminal charges against mayors and members of city councils. Instead of just voting people out of office, city, county and state attorneys are going after people in government and charging them with criminal activity when a city has a financial crisis.
Though there haven’t been many of these criminal cases, the highest-profile case has to be that of the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. Granted, Kilpatrick is clearly not from New Jersey, but if this trend continues, a New Jersey mayor or council member could find him- or herself facing similar charges.
Beyond the fact that the former mayor of such a large city has recently been convicted of criminal charges, what is shocking is both the nature of the charges and the sentence Kilpatrick recently received. Of the 24 federal corruption charges, some of them included charges that are usually only applicable to criminal kingpins. The prosecution alleged that Kilpatrick was more the head of an organized crime syndicate than of the city.
Kilpatrick was also recently sentenced for the 24 federal charges. The judge ordered him to serve 28 years in federal prison, a lengthy sentence that may just be the result of the ill will felt by the people of Detroit.
Source: NPR, Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison, Melissa Block, 10 October 2013