Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is released this morning after serving 99 days at the Andrew C. Baird Detention Center in Detroit.

source: Detroit Free Press

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick left jail early this morning with a new look, an apparent new appreciation for freedom, and a new high-powered lawyer who said he doesn’t have any plans to sue anybody …Yet

Emerging from a Wayne County Jail cell situated across an alley from Detroit Police headquarters, a slimmer and shaggier Kilpatrick paused in the doorway of the Andrew C. Baird Detention Center around 12:30 a.m.

As his newest attorney, Willie Gary, said Kilpatrick would have nothing to say, the 38-year-old ex-mayor looked around with a somewhat bewildered expression. Through the thick beard that replaced his formerly closely cropped whiskers, he flashed a smile. Then he plowed toward a waiting Chevy Suburban as a phalanx of large and nattily attired escorts tried to form a wall against reporters and photographers.

After a caravan of SUVs sped away, Gary told reporters Kilpatrick wanted to speak, but instead heeded his lawyer’s advice.

“He’s not bitter; he said he learned a lot. He said this has been an experience that he’ll never forget. And he thinks because of it he’ll be a better person,” Gary said. “Right now he’s just concerned about getting home to his mom, his sister and, of course, his other family.”

Although Kilpatrick is due to join his wife, Carlita, and their three sons in Texas as early as today, his first stop was apparently at the home of his mother, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit. His sister, Ayanna, lives next door to the congresswoman’s home just west of the New Center.

Gary, a Florida lawyer whom the Miami Herald says has built a fortune by winning cases worth hundreds of millions of dollars, said he came to Detroit at Kilpatrick’s request. But he said he is still trying to determine if the ex-mayor has a case.

Gary declined to say which of Kilpatrick’s rights may have been violated. Gary was asked if he might sue SkyTel, the company that leased the city text messaging devices on which Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff and lover sent incriminating messages.

All he would say about potential targets was that he was concerned with Kilpatrick’s rights “during the case, the rights with all of the evidence, the rights with respect to just how certain matters were handled, how certain matters were dealt with in terms of and specifically in terms of some of the records that were out, that got out.”

The Free Press reported last year about text messages that showed Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff and lover, Christine Beatty, lied during a police whistle-blower case when they denied having an affair and trying to fire a deputy police chief investigating the mayor’s inner circle. The pair’s attempts to cover up the lies cost taxpayers more than $9 million and prompted the Wayne County prosecutor to file 15 felony charges against them.

Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to two felony perjury charges and no contest to a felony assault charge stemming from the case. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail and five years probation, ordered to pay $1 million in restitution, give up his law license, resign as mayor and agree not to run for public office for five years. Beatty later pleaded guilty to two felony perjury charges and is serving a 90-day sentence.

Kilpatrick served 99 days in jail after getting credit for a night he spent in jail on a bond violation and for good behavior.

“The mayor,” Gary started, correcting himself. “The former mayor. … He wishes the city well, all of the people well. … There are no hard feelings.”

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