Kilpatrick's Secret Santa exposed by Chicago TV station

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court Monday.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court Monday.

A Chicago pastor gave Kwame Kilpatrick $2,000 cash after the former Detroit mayor begged for Christmas money, according to a televised report.

The money might explain how Kilpatrick, who owes creditors $1.8 million, filled Santa’s bag and afforded a lavish Christmas feast for his family, including his indicted father Bernard.

From the Fox 32 News report late Monday:

Kilpatrick was caught on a Wal-Mart security camera last December, counting out $2,000 in cash he just received from a wire transfer. The man who sent him the money? Pastor Corey Brooks, a prodigious fundraiser and growing leader in Chicago’s religious community.

“He didn’t render any sort of work for it. It was a gift. It was a benevolence gift,” Brooks insists. “It was a Christmas gift.”

Brooks says he wired Kilpatrick the money after Kilpatrick sent him this letter pleading for help.

In the letter, Kilpatrick says his family was wiped out by legal fees.

“We have now come to a critical moment in this journey where we must now reach out to our close friends and associates for financial assistance. We are hurting really bad.”

Kwame Kilpatrick flanked by, from left, father Bernard, sister Ayanna and mother Carolyn.

Kwame Kilpatrick flanked by, from left, father Bernard, sister Ayanna and mother Carolyn.

Define hurting. The Kilpatrick clan celebrated Christmas at the family’s 5,000-square-foot home in Grand Prairie, Texas. Under the tree, a keyboard, new shoes and more…

Kilpatrick also flies for almost free between his Texas home and Detroit on weekends and was living rent-free at a luxury Detroit hotel — until we started asking questions.

Here’s the kicker:

“Part of his parole conditions are that he has to report any income, gifts he receives to us during the month. The problem is he reported zero dollars in income, zero dollars in gifts in the month of December.”

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