Complaint about Kilpatrick campaign cash filed with SOS

Maurice Kelman, a retired Wayne State University Law School professor, apparently taking a cue from Attorney General Mike Cox, has filed a complaint with Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, accusing Kwame Kilpatrick of misusing $976,000 in campaign funds.

Kelman’s complaint, obtained by The Detroit Free Press, alleges

Kilpatrick violated campaign-finance law by using his re-election fund to pay the criminal defense lawyers who defended him during the text message scandal.

State Attorney General Mike Cox wrote last month that elected officials could not use campaign money to combat criminal charges stemming from personal conduct. He also said Land should weigh each case on its merits. Land’s spokeswoman said her office will review the complaint.

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Kilpatrick use of campaign funds to pay legal bills illegal, says AG Cox

Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick violated the Michigan Campaign Finance Act when he used money from his campaign committee to pay legal fees related to his defense of perjury and obstruction of justice charges, said Attorney General Mike Cox.

In a 26-page opinion, Cox wrote that the expenses stemmed from charges “that originate from personal activity unrelated to performing the functions of the public official’s office[.]”

The opinion was requested by State Sen. Gilda Jacobs (D – Huntington Woods).

Cox is regarded as one of the frontrunners in the race to be the Republican candidate in the 2010 Michigan gubernatorial race.