Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (C) appears in Wayne County Circuit Court for his sentencing October 28, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. Kilpatrick will spend 4 months in jail as part of a plea deal he accepted back in September in which he plead guilty to two felonies and no contest to a felony assault charge. Photo: Getty Images/Bill Pugliano
Thu, Oct 10, 2013 2:26 PM EDT

The former mayor blamed for driving Detroit to bankruptcy was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a federal judge on Thursday, convicted of 24 counts including tax crimes, bribery, extortion, and racketeering. Kwame Kilpatrick was ordered to serve the maximum recommended sentence, which is one of the toughest ever imposed for a public official. 

Prior to sentencing, Kilpatrick spoke out in his defense, saying he deeply regretted his actions, particularly hurting his family, and taking advantage of his power while Detroit citizens were struggling. And while Kilpatrick is bearing the brunt of Detroit's recent political and financial troubles, which include being $18 billion in debt, some say he has been made a scapegoat for larger local corruption issues.