Court denies Kilpatrick escrow account appeal

DETROIT (AP) -- Michigan's Court of Appeals denied a request by Kwame Kilpatrick to overturn an order creating an escrow account for proceeds from the ex-Detroit mayor's memoirs.

The ruling Tuesday cited "lack of merit" presented in the appeal by Kilpatrick lawyer Daniel Hajji.

Hajji has said the escrow account order violates Kilpatrick's right to free speech. He filed his appeal in July.

"I'm disappointed with the quality of review the Court of Appeals has given it," Hajji said after the court's opinion was released. "No one is addressing the First Amendment. My analysis was backed up by case law. I cited the United States Supreme Court."

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner earlier this month denied Hajji's motion to change his order creating the account. Groner said proceeds from "Surrendered: The Rise, Fall & Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick" must go first to pay the $860,000 owed to Detroit in restitution.

Kilpatrick agreed to pay the city $1 million as part of his plea to two criminal charges in 2008. He was paroled Aug. 2 after serving 14 months in prison for violating probation in the 2008 criminal case.

His book was released locally Aug. 9 at four small bookstores in and around Detroit. Kilpatrick moved back to the Dallas area after his prison release and has been on speaking engagements to help spur book sales.

He faces a federal corruption trial in 2012 on fraud, tax and racketeering conspiracy charges.

Published: Thu, Sep 1, 2011

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