Politician Lives Large at Taxpayer Expense

Published July 1, 2005

Here are some examples of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s personal spending with the city’s charge card since he was elected in 2001. The information was obtained from city credit card records and reported by the Detroit Free Press:

  • $52.55 for Pearl Moon swimwear and $265 at the Four Seasons Spa for Kilpatrick and bodyguard Mike Martin during a two-day stay at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, then the majority owner of MotorCity Casino in Detroit. The casino operators paid the tab for transportation and hotel expenses for Kilpatrick, Martin, and others in the mayor’s entourage. Total cost of the trip: $19,639.
  • $850 dinner charged by Conrad Mallett Jr., a former state supreme court justice who was then working as the mayor’s chief operating officer and lead casino negotiator, at a steakhouse in Las Vegas. Records do not show who was at the dinner.
  • A two-day stay in the luxury suite at the Luxor hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The hotel credited back $10,742 for the stay, according to receipts, but Kilpatrick put another $6,257 on the city credit card. The city is disputing those charges.
  • $3,837 for 36 hours of chauffeur service during the 62 hours Kilpatrick spent in Washington, DC for the 2003 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ winter meeting.
  • An $11,644 charge from the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, put on the Detroit MasterCard in early 2002, for attendance at that year’s Super Bowl. The foundation is host committee for the Super Bowl and controls large blocks of hotel rooms for VIPs and others. The Free Press said the city disputed the charge about two years after it showed up on the MasterCard statement. After a fraud investigation, the charge was put back on the card, as it appeared to be legitimate.

Steve Stanek