Say one thing for former Detroit Mayor — and former ATL Lawyer of the Day — Kwame Kilpatrick: he’s got balls. I’m not talking about his sexual prowess, preserved in steamy text messages. I’m talking about the kind of testicular fortitude it takes to make the following argument to a Michigan Court. The Detroit Free Press reports (gavel bang: ABA Journal):
Kwame Kilpatrick is living large because, his lawyer says, he has to. …
Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner will arraign Kilpatrick for failing to pay $79,011 toward the $1 million he owes in restitution by last Friday’s deadline. Kilpatrick and his lawyers say he doesn’t have the money, despite his plush lifestyle in a tony Dallas suburb and $120,000-a-year sales job for Covisint, a Compuware subsidiary.
“The clientele he must establish a rapport with are likely to be the privileged and the affluent,” [Kilpatrick's lawyer Daniel Hajji] said in the motion. “Burgers and beer at the local bar is not going to be sufficient.”
See, I think there is a coherent argument to be made that you shouldn’t be forced to pay nearly $80,000 on a $120,000 (pre-tax, I’m assuming) salary. But “establish[ing] a rapport” is certainly not one of them.
Still, Kilpatrick and his lawyer press the point, after the jump.
As a salesman, Kilpatrick can make more than his $120,000 base pay with commissions. The argument is that he needs to wine and dine people in order to make those sales to affluent clients:
Hajji said it would be no surprise if Kilpatrick loses his job because of the additional scrutiny. “The trial court and the prosecution do not seem to be concerned with getting the restitution paid,” he wrote of Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner.
“The trial court appears to infer that it wants Mr. Kilpatrick to live a middle-class existence, when such an existence is inconsistent with earning a sufficient amount to fulfill his restitution obligation.
“Mr. Kilpatrick is going to have to function in the upper echelons of society.”
This guy used to be mayor of Detroit, I’m pretty sure he’s heard of an expense account.
Look, even if you accept the argument that one needs to spend a certain amount of money in order to “function” around rich people, surely such appearances don’t need to extend to his house. Lord knows that when I need to function in the upper echelons of society, I’m not inviting partners back to my Manhattan hovel.
But this is what happens when you deal with people who lack a shame reflex. Kilpatrick has already embarrassed himself and his city. Now he’s embarrassing the company that gave his disgraced ass a job. I bet affluent clients would respect beer and burgers if it came with a side of honor.
Kilpatrick must live lavishly, his lawyer says [Detroit Free Press]
Lawyer Explains Why Ex-Detroit Mayor Missed Payment: He Must Live Lavishly [ABA Journal]
Earlier: Detroit Rock City
Lawyer and Law Student of the Day: Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty