Detroit's Ex-Mayor Gets 28 Years Kwame Kilpatrick would be free at age 71 if he serves it all By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Oct 10, 2013 12:51 PM CDT 85 comments Comments Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in a 2010 file photo from court. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Newser) – One reason Detroit is such a mess: lousy leaders. Witness former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who got sentenced today to 28 years in prison for a slew of corruption charges stemming from his tenure from 2002 into 2008. The 43-year-old "appeared stunned" at the severity of the sentence, reports the Detroit News, but the judge said it was necessary to send a message about politicians getting rich on the public dime. "A man with the charisma and ability of Mr. Kilpatrick chose to use his talents on personal aggrandizement and enrichment when he had the potential to do so much for the city," declared Judge Nancy Edmunds, as per the AP. Prior to the sentence, Kilpatrick took the high road: "I'm ready to go so the city can move on," he said. "The people here are suffering, they're hurting. A great deal of that hurt I accept responsibility for." Kilpatrick has a long history of trouble, including a sexting scandal that led to his resignation from office.