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Ex-Detroit Mayor's New Gig

POSTED: 11:46 AM ET, 02/13/2009 by Derek Kravitz

Kwame Kilpatrick is back and it looks like Dallas will be his new home.

Kwame Kilpatrick

The former mayor of Detroit, having just completed a 99-day jail term after pleading guilty to obstructing justice for lying about an affair he had with his chief of staff, was hired by Compuware CEO and longtime friend Peter Karmanos as a Texas-based account executive working on getting government health care programs online (memo).

"We hired someone with a great deal of talent and a lot of charisma who will be an enormous help to us moving forward," Karmanos told Detroit radio host Paul W. Smith during an interview. "But he understands we won't take any, any additional stuff that happens."

Calling Kilpatrick "uniquely qualified" and his hiring a "business decision," the Compuware chief executive officer said the former mayor will work with a Web-based subsidiary near Dallas, where his family moved in December (other employees' reactions are mixed).

This is not the first time Karmanos has stuck by the ex-mayor's side. In 2005, when Kilpatrick faced a tough re-election fight, Karmanos gave $100,000 to a political-action committee controlled by Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick was charged in March 2008 with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury and misconduct in office after the Detroit Free Press obtained text messages (copies of the messages) sent between the mayor and his then-chief of staff Christine Beatty.

As for Kilpatrick's new job, the subsidiary, Covisint, was launched in 1999 by a group of car-makers, including General Motors and DaimlerChrysler, who wanted to address "escalating costs and gross inefficiencies within their industry," according to the company's Web site.

Kilpatrick had to seek approval to leave Michigan for training, which is still pending, and for a job interview earlier this month after he was released from jail Feb. 3. He flew to Dallas aboard a business jet chartered by his mother, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), according to The Dallas Morning News' Todd J. Gillman.

No word on Kilpatrick's salary. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he still owes $1 million in restitution to the city of Detroit, to be paid over the next five years. He also is prohibited from running for political office for the same time period.

By Derek Kravitz |  February 13, 2009; 11:46 AM ET
Previous: Despite Pledges, Package Has Pork; D.C. Agency Probed in Water Report; Judges Guilty in Pa. Kickback Scheme | Next: A-Rod, Exploiting the Disabled and Army Problems


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