DETROIT, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, now awaiting trial on federal corruption charges, denies ever taking bribes or kickbacks.
In an interview with The New York Times published Saturday on the newspaper’s Web site, Kilpatrick called the federal charges “absolutely untrue.”
“I’ve never accepted a bribe. I’ve never got a kickback. I’ve never steered a contract,” he said. “It’s all ridiculous. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”
The former mayor said he has no plans to get back into Detroit politics even though he believes he could win if he ran again.
“But it wouldn’t be the best thing for the people there,” he said. “They need a new person who can come in and inspire.”
Kilpatrick was released Aug. 2 after serving a 14-month state sentence for violation of probation. His parole has been transferred to Texas, where he is living with his wife Carlita.
His legal troubles began with the release of sexually explicit text messages exchanged with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty. He said he had a pager instead of a cellphone because he believed that protected him from wiretapping.
“The FBI investigated Mayor Coleman Young, and they had all of these tapes of his phone calls,” Kilpatrick said. “So, my thing was: ‘Hey, I’m doing this new texting thing. They can’t listen to this.’ But now they can print it out and read it for all eternity.”