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Source: Tresa Baldas of the Detroit Frees Press

With her husband behind bars, Detroit’s former first lady, Carlita Kilpatrick, has fallen on hard times in Texas, losing her job and her lease on the family’s extravagant 5,000-square-foot home in suburban Dallas.

According to neighbors, some of the Kilpatricks’ furniture and numerous household belongings were out on the curb on trash pickup day last Monday, three days before the family officially moved out of the five-bedroom home they rented for $2,600 a month in Grand Prairie. According to Dallas real estate agent Will Butler, Carlita Kilpatrick was not evicted, but the owner of the house chose not to renew her lease. Butler did not elaborate, stating only that the house is now on the market to be leased again, this time for $2,799 a month.

It is not known where the Kilpatricks moved, but sources familiar with Carlita Kilpatrick’s plight said that the family’s church, the Potter’s House in Dallas, is helping them out. Officials with Potter’s House did not return calls or emails for comment.

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Neighbors, meanwhile, said the Kilpatricks left a lot behind on the curb.

“There was a lot of furniture. It was a lot of stuff there … the kind of stuff that you keep,” said one neighbor, Malinda Carter, who noted she “rarely” saw the Kilpatricks and had no idea why they left or where they went.

July has been a tough month for Carlita Kilpatrick. One week before she moved out of her house, she lost her $41,200 job working for the City of Duncanville, Texas, because, city officials said, she didn’t meet the job’s requirements.

Carlita Kilpatrick, who is now raising three sons on her own following her husband’s public corruption conviction, was hired in January as a specialist at the Duncanville Fieldhouse, an athletic facility with basketball courts, a fitness center and meeting rooms. Her duties included organizing and scheduling sporting events, such as basketball and volleyball tournaments, and overseeing the facility’s daily operations.

According to Duncanville’s public information officer Claudia Garibay, Carlita Kilpatrick was on a 180-day probation period and did not meet the requirements of the job. She did not elaborate, beyond confirming that Kilpatrick’s job officially ended July 10.

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Carlita Kilpatrick got the job while her husband, Kwame Kilpatrick, was on trial in Detroit federal court, where a jury in March convicted him and his longtime friend, Bobby Ferguson, on 34 counts combined. Both men face up to 20 years, maybe more, in prison for a host of crimes, including bribery and extortion.

Carlita Kilpatrick, who has never been charged with any crimes, could not be reached for comment. Her mother-in-law, the former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick, could not be reached for comment.

Mike Paul, a former spokesman for the Kilpatrick family, said he believes Carlita Kilpatrick and her children deserve privacy and peace, and urged the public and faith-community to pray for their well-being.

“Let them move on,” Paul said in a phone interview from his New York office. “For anyone who has a heart: Look, Kwame is in prison. Let this family have some peace.”

Paul also stressed that Carlita Kilpatrick has a right to move on with her life, get a job and support her children.

“Quite frankly, I feel for them,” Paul said.

Duncanville City Manager Greg Contreras, who made the decision to terminate Kilpatrick, is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

During Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor, Carlita Kilpatrick made headlines over the infamous Lincoln Navigator scandal, in which text messages revealed that taxpayers paid for two luxury SUVs for the former first lady, who was persistent in getting them.

In one 2002 text, she wrote: “Have you heard anything about my navi?” More than six hours later, she wrote again: “ANY WORD ON MY NAVIGATOR?” Three months later, she texted her husband: “Can I get my truck before the 2004s are out?”

Carlita Kilpatrick’s name also surfaced during the recent public corruption trial, when a government witness testified that she received tens of thousands of dollars in grant money for a project she performed little to no work for, irking state officials who thought the money was going to poor people.

Carlita Kilpatrick, however, did not attend any of the trial, except for closing arguments. She was back in Texas, raising her sons in the 5,016-square-foot home that the family moved into nearly two years ago. It was bigger than the Manoogian mansion, and an upgrade from the Texas home in which the Kilpatricks had previously lived. The move to the larger home drew the ire of parole officials, who raised Kilpatrick’s restitution last year from $125 a month to $500 a month after concluding he could afford to pay more.

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Kilpatrick, for example, had been paying more than $314 a month for cable — more than double his restitution payment — and $800 a month for a car.

Kilpatrick still owes more than $800,000 in restitution to the City of Detroit for lying about an affair and ruining the careers of three police officers in a whistle-blower trial that cost the City of Detroit $8.4 million. The lies were revealed in text messages, published by the Free Press, eventually leading to criminal charges and his downfall. At $500 a month, it will take him more than 140 years to pay it off.

Contact Tresa Baldas: 313-223-4296 or tbaldas@freepress.com


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