Kilpatrick speaks out about his late restitution payment

(WXYZ) - Detroit's former mayor is speaking out about the Department of Corrections decision to punish him for missing a restitution payment.

Most days as Kwame Kilpatrick leaves federal court, he refuses to respond to questions from reporters.

On Friday, he did speak to 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo, and practically got tearful because he can't go home to Texas this weekend for his son's birthday.

"It seems petty. And it's just unfortunate. This weekend is my son Jonas' birthday. The department knew about that," said Kilpatrick.

Detroit's former mayor is clearly unhappy that his parole officer won't let him return to Texas this weekend to see his family. Michigan Department of Corrections officials say that's the consequence Kilpatrick has to face for missing his $500 restitution payment in November.

As part of his plea deal from the state criminal case that stemmed from the text message scandal – Kilpatrick agreed to pay $1 Million to the city of Detroit in restitution.

He still owes more than $855,000, and failed to send in his payment by November 30.

"The department also knows why the payment was late. They have that information, without going into specifics," said Kilpatrick.

In an email to his parole officer, Kilpatrick implies some sort of hardship prevented him from making his November payment until December 5.

Kilpatrick writes, "I sincerely pray that in the future, if significant issues arise that create an inability to pay restitution on time, I will be allowed to come to you beforehand and speak with you, as would every other parolee in the United States of America, in hopes that continuing hurt, distress, sorrow and even damage is not put upon my family."

To punish Kilpatrick for violating the conditions of his parole, his weekly travel pass to Texas was revoked.

"And it seems like politically they felt like they had to do something. So what they did is punish my 10-year-old, [almost] 11-year-old son – they punished him. It's sad, I know it's open season on Kwame Kilpatrick. But when they start to do that kind of stuff, it's pretty sad," Kilpatrick said with strong emotion, and then walked away from reporters.

Corrections officials tell 7 Action News this is a one-time punishment – they are only revoking the travel pass for this weekend, assuming, of course, that he resumes his monthly payments.

Meanwhile, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner ordered Kilpatrick and his attorney in the state case back to court for a status conference next Wednesday. They're expected to discuss an entirely different issue with Kilpatrick's restitution: what happens with an escrow account for the sales from Kilpatrick's book.
 

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