Ex-Detroit mayor serving 28-year prison sentence says rights were violated by lawyer conflict

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DETROIT — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is asking an appeals court to throw out his corruption conviction.

Kilpatrick is focusing on an alleged conflict involving his attorneys, as well as the testimony of federal agents. He is serving a 28-year prison sentence after a jury last year convicted him of two dozen crimes, from tax evasion to bribery.

Kilpatrick says he was poorly served because his attorneys had been affiliated with a law firm that was suing Detroit's water department, an agency that had a key role in the corruption trial.

James Thomas tried to withdraw, but Judge Nancy Edmunds found no conflict between the two matters and kept him on the Kilpatrick case.

Prosecutors will respond to Kilpatrick's filing, and the appeals court will hear arguments in the months ahead.

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