Republican leader responds to calls for president to free Kilpatrick

Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 17:51:35-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Supporters of disgraced Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is currently serving a lengthy prison term for public corruption, say President Trump could soon decide on a pardon or sentence commutation.

In the wake of President Trump deciding to free nearly a dozen white-collar criminals from federal prison, chairman of the Oakland County Republican Party, Rocky Raczkowski, says don’t assume Detroit‘s former mayor would be next. Although, he does believe Trump is well aware of his 28 year prison sentence from a public corruption conviction in 2013.

“I know for a fact it’s on the president’s desk," Raczkowski said. "There are people in the city of Detroit, business leaders, individuals asking the president to intervene. He may or may not. We’ll know in the next few week."

Community leader and longtime family friend of the Kilpatricks, Rev. Horace Sheffield, tells 7 Action News recent calls for Kilpatrick to be freed by Detroit businessman Peter Karmanos and others speak to him deserving another chance.

“It's wrong for his family to have to wait until he’s 67 years old in 2037, to see him come home," Sheffield said. "Free Kwame. Free Kwame. We want Kwame home. He served more than enough time, and there’s an equity in his sentence."

The chairman of the Oakland Co. Republican Party also says, any possible decision to commute the sentence of Kilpatrick would not be politically motivated by the president, as some have suggested.

“I really, truly believe this is not about political gain," Raczkowski said. "This is about doing what’s right."