DETROIT (WXYZ) — There’s a new twist in the ever-confusing story of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Many are asking if he could still get an early release from prison even though the Federal Bureau of Prisons said Tuesday night in a news release, "On Tuesday, May 26, 2020, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reviewed and denied inmate Kwame Kilpatrick for home confinement. Mr. Kilpatrick remains incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution-I in Oakdale, Louisiana."
Kilpatrick is 49 and served seven years of a 28-year sentence on racketeering, extortion, bribery and other charges related to several years as Detroit mayor.
Kilpatrick’s supporters in Detroit include State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, who says Kilpatrick’s release may have been stopped because the Federal Bureau of Prisons moved out the warden where Kilpatrick was doing his time, Oakdale-1 in Louisiana. That personnel move was made on Friday, just after Kilpatrick was reportedly approved for release on home confinement to his mother who now lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
That prison has had more than 80 cases of COVID-19, including among eight staff and seven deaths. The reassignment of the warden made news across the south.
“How could this have happened under one Warden and then under a new Warden the decision was changed,” Detroit State Rep. Gay-Dagnogo asks. She says she wants to know what happened and many discussions are happening behind the scenes.
Gay-Dagnogo says she went public on Friday that Kilpatrick’s release was happening because she says she had been told by people inside the Trump White House and by Kilpatrick’s family.
“I have to rely on what’s shared with me,” she said. "We don’t allow people who are not on death row to serve a death sentence.”
Other people speaking out on Friday included Kilpatrick’s former brother-in-law, Daniel Ferguson. “Where we are now is kind of bewilderment. Nobody really knows what to believe,” he told 7 Action News on Wednesday.
He was surprised about the change in the prison Warden.
“He's probably like, let me get up to speed and see what's going on, then I'll make a decision,” Ferguson said of the new warden.
7 Action News has asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons for more clarification and have not gotten a reply.
The US Attorney in Detroit is also not commenting.