Ex-justice doesn't regret giving Kilpatrick money

Former Chief Justice Conrad Mallett, Jr. tells friends where he wants them to stand around his official portrait after it was presented to the Michigan Supreme Court last May in the court's chambers in Lansing. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Former Chief Justice Conrad Mallett, Jr. tells friends where he wants them to stand around his official portrait after it was presented to the Michigan Supreme Court last May in the court’s chambers in Lansing. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett Jr. does not regret giving $1,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick, one of several undisclosed gifts from people that could send the former Detroit mayor back to prison.

Mallett, who is running Mike Duggan’s mayoral campaign, spoke this afternoon in the wake of news that Kilpatrick received $10,750 in cash gifts that were hidden from state parole officials.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kilpatrick revealed the gifts in emails to his parole agent. Mallett’s gift allegedly was for Kilpatrick’s three sons, according to emails obtained by The News.

“No man, I don’t regret it,” Mallett told The News. “Those kids, man, are really great kids and (Kilpatrick’s wife) Carlita is obviously a strong and wonderful person, man.”

Mallett does not remember when he gave the gift.

“He reached out to me and indicated he needed help to provide for his family and I responded,” Mallett said. “I was raised to help a person in need.”

Mallett said he wired the $1,000 via Western Union.

“That’s how he asked me to do it,” Mallett said.

The wire payment was not an attempt to hide the money from parole officials, Mallett said.

“Not at all,” Mallett said.

Kilpatrick is required to disclose gifts and income as a condition of his parole.

“I didn’t have any idea at the time that there was a requirement that these kinds of items be reported,” Mallett said. “All I got from Mr. Kilpatrick was, and I believe him, that there was some immediacy to the request he was making.

“All I can say, man, is were I aware that there was a requirement to report, I would have encouraged Mr. Kilpatrick to do that,” he added. “I mean, those of us who provided him that support were not trying to hide it. It is what it was, man.”

Mallett, a longtime friend of Kilpatrick’s, was asked about whether he hopes the City Hall corruption jury acquits the former Detroit mayor.

“No, man, I don’t have any comment on that at all,” he said.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at rsnell@detnews.com or (313) 222-2028.