WATCH: Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick released from prison

Kwame Kilpatrick
Posted at 8:10 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 05:47:27-05

DETROIT (AP) — A federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman tells The Associated Press that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been released from prison after President Donald Trump commuted his sentence.

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The White House issued a statement around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning that said: "President Trump commuted the sentence of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Malik Kilpatrick. This commutation is strongly supported by prominent members of the Detroit community, Alveda King, Alice Johnson, Diamond and Silk, Pastor Paula White, Peter Karmanos, Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo of the Michigan House of Representatives, Representative Karen Whitsett of the Michigan House of Representatives, and more than 30 faith leaders. Mr. Kilpatrick has served approximately 7 years in prison for his role in a racketeering and bribery scheme while he held public office. During his incarceration, Mr. Kilpatrick has taught public speaking classes and has led Bible Study groups with his fellow inmates."

Back in November, Ayanna Kilpatrick, sister of the former mayor, claimed her brother would get an early COVID-19 compassionate release from federal prison.

Kilpatrick was not excepted to be released from federal prison until Jan. 18, 2037.

Kilpatrick has served more than seven years of a 28-year prison sentence for a series of federal corruption crimes. The announcement came in a flurry of clemency action in the final hours of Trump's White House term. Kilpatrick's sentence was commuted or reduced, but his 24 felony convictions still will stand.

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In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the "Kilpatrick enterprise," a scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies. Kilpatrick's allies said a 28-year prison term was extreme.

Not on the list of pardons or commutations was his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, or his friend, Bobby Ferguson.

Bernard completed a 15-month sentence on a charge of subscribing false tax returns, while Ferguson is still in federal prison after getting a 21-year sentence.