Can Anyone Counsel Kilpatrick?

We have written previously regarding the audacity and dastardly deeds of Kwame Kilpatrick, the latest of which have once again landed him in Wayne County jail for more (14) parole violations.  In an effort to bring new perspective into this vicious cycle of bad behavior, I spoke over the weekend with client and friend, Michael Komorn, a longtime Metro Detroit criminal defense attorney.  We’ve suggested in the past how we, as PR professionals, would counsel Kilpatrick on what to do and say when continuing to face adversity but what about legal counsel?

As for how he would be advising Kilpatrick, Komorn was adamant: “Parole is a privilege. When you are in such a position, you must do everything you possibly can to comply with the court ,” he said. “And, if you find you can’t, it is your responsibility to proactively go to the court, tell them, and attempt to make other arrangements.” Instead, Komorn notes, Kilpatrick once again “showed a complete disregard for court orders” – the requirements for staying out of prison. As such, he doesn’t buy the contention of some that the ex-mayor is being treated unfairly. “He’s already been sent to prison before for not complying with court. There are rules everyone has to follow.”

Komorn also noted it has been his experience that problems typically arise in restitution cases when destitution and poverty are involved. In other words, those who are being required to make payments toward something have absolutely no means to do so. In the case of Kilpatrick, says Komorn, “From the uncovering of wire transfers and money orders to the way Kilpatrick looks each day (dressed to the ‘nines’), it certainly appears he has money.” And yet he continues to attempt to hide it and/or suggest otherwise.

As for whether someone like Kilpatrick would even be counsel-able, Komorn concedes that he is most likely a very difficult client. But rather than just defiance and arrogance at work, Komorn suggests a different possible dynamic: survival. “Who knows the psychology of what’s going on in his head? Faced with the prospect of many years in prison and being unable to provide for his family during that time, he may well feel it is worth the risk to continue to hide income”, in turn shirking his responsibility to ‘play by the rules’ and pay back the City of Detroit.

Bottom line to it all though, says Komorn, is very similar to what we, as PR professionals feel: Actions speak louder than words. And Kwame Kilpatrick’s actions continue to serve him terribly.