DETROIT – Greek-American former CEO of Compuware Corporation and now minority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes Peter Karmanos is urging U.S. President Donald Trump to pardon the former mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick, according to a report on WDIV-TV/ClickOnDetroit.
Karmanos, 76, is a “longtime friend of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and on Charlie LeDuff’s podcast, he said he was working to get the ex-mayor a presidential pardon,” WDIV-TV reported.
“Karmanos implied that Kilpatrick was a victim of a political conspiracy and that he will use his influence with President Donald Trump to get him freed from prison,” WDIV-TV reported, adding that “the former Detroit mayor was sentenced to a term of 28 years in prison back in 2013 after he was found guilty on 24 of 30 counts, including racketeering. He has been fighting his sentence ever since. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had denied his original appeal of his conviction and sentence. He filed another motion in 2017 to vacate his prison sentence, and that was denied by a district court judge.”
In the podcast, Karmanos said that he “believes the charges and evidence against Kilpatrick were inflated or fabricated,” and “Kilpatrick is an innocent man,” WDIV-TV reported.
“Kilpatrick said at one time he wrote a letter to Trump asking for clemency and Karmanos said he had used his influence to deliver that letter,” WDIV-TV reported.
“I’m going to continue to push. It’s not right,” said Karmanos, the Detroit Free Press reported, adding that “he ‘absolutely’ believes that Trump is seriously considering honoring Kilpatrick’s request for clemency.”
“I do know that if Trump gave him clemency before the election, where do you think he’d help Trump’s campaign at? You don’t think [Kilpatrick] would go to the black community,” Karmanos said, noting that “he believes Kilpatrick ‘had done absolutely zero’ wrong,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
Of Kilpatrick’s historic public corruption sentence, Karmanos said, “Twenty-eight years, are you kidding me?” and “described Kilpatrick as a ‘good politician’ and ‘smart businessman,’ and stressed that he never shook him down, as was alleged by several contractors during Kilpatrick’s corruption trial,” the Detroit Free Press reported.
“He never asked for a cent … Everything was on the up and up,” said Karmanos, the Detroit Free Press reported, adding that Karmanos cofounded the Detroit-based Compuware, “once the largest computer technology company in the state,” and “also founded the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, named after his late first wife.”