(FOX 2) - Disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption during his term in office.
Kilpatrick's brother in law Daniel Ferguson still thinks that he is innocent - and he recently told FOX 2 investigative reporter M.L. Elrick.
"Look, he's in there going great work," he said. "He's helping dudes get educated, he's helping dudes with legal work, some dudes just come to him because they know he's been through so much."
The man said to be doing so many great things is Kwame Kilpatrick, currently at Fort Dix Federal Correctional Facility in New Jersey, where he is serving a 28-year prison sentence for public corruption.
Ferguson: "What did he get convicted of?"
Elrick: "Well, racketeering."
Ferguson: "What was the racket?"
Elrick: "Bribery, extortion, fraud?"
Ferguson: "But what was the racket, what was the actual racket?"
Elrick: "I guess I would say shaking down contractors, telling them you got to pay if you want to play."
The man praising Kilpatrick is Daniel Ferguson the third, Kilpatrick’s brother-in-law. He joined me on this week's edition of my new podcast, ML Soul of Detroit.
Co-host Marc Fellhauer: "Can you tell us how often you talk to Kwame now?"
Ferguson: "Not that much, there's a system that we use, an e-mail system."
Fellhauer: "Because I know you post messages from him on your Facebook page."
Ferguson: "We stuff with the family, certain stuff we share, certain stuff we keep close to the chest.
Ferguson didn't elaborate, deferring to his extended family's preference for privacy.
Fellhauer: "I've always been interested in Carlita, and how she's doing and where she is. She disappeared after what happened in Texas. is she ok?"
Ferguson: "She deserves her peace, her and Chris (Beatty). they deserve their peace."
Kilpatrick has hit a dead end in every avenue he's pursued to get out of prison. While some feel he still owes Detroiters an apology, Ferguson says Kilpatrick doesn't even owe the restitution he was ordered to pay when he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and perjury charges stemming from the text message scandal.
Ferguson: "Like everybody thinks he's supposed to be ashamed or something. When even the government said they can't put a money amount on what the case cost. he doesn't owe restitution."
Elrick: "He does owe restitution. he owes a million dollars from the perjury and obstruction of justice."
Ferguson: "You know that's some b.s."
Elrick: "I know that I want that $1 million!"
Ferguson claims the local media used the text message scandal to drive profits - and drive Kilpatrick out of office.
Elrick: "I always liked Kilpatrick, our relationship soured ..."
Ferguson: "You had a funny way of showing it, though."
Ferguson says many Detroiters are frustrated that Mayor Mike Duggan has not faced the same intensity of media coverage and he believes he knows why.
Elrick: "There's no question that there is less scrutiny on Mayor Duggan because there are fewer reporters."
Ferguson: "Now wait a minute, hold on; you're Irish, Duggan's Irish."
Elrick: "Now I'm being profiled?"
One other topic that Ferguson says needs greater scrutiny is the city charter revision commission meetings.
Ferguson: "I've been to a couple of them and I’ve seen organized chaos."
Elrick: "What are they supposed to be doing?"
Ferguson: "They're supposed to be ironing down the constitution of the city."
Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones is among those hoping the charter revision process becomes more civil. Ferguson thinks he knows one way to make this happen.
Ferguson: "There needs to be a thing where us as the people of the city, get with the charter commission and say: 'hey, what are you about.'"