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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kilpatrick missing?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 5:17 PM

The highest-profile felon serving time behind bars in Michigan had for weeks escaped the taint of being listed on the online database maintained by the Department of Corrections. But he's there now.

Yes, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has shown up on the state’s Offender Tracking Information System, known by the acronym OTIS. It’s a website that allows you, me or your grandmother to search the records of thousands of prisoners, parolees and probationers to learn where they have tattoos, when their birthdays are, the crimes committed and the sentences they’ve received.

(And, at the risk of offending Stephen Grant, the Macomb County maniac who chopped up his wife and was caught tromping shoeless through snowy woods, we do feel confident in our assessment of Kilpatrick as the “most high-profile.” After all, Kilpatrick’s had more mentions on late-night television.)

As part of our public service journalism here at Metro Times — and having been alerted by a loyal reader of the Kilpatrick omission — we went searching OTIS earlier this week for the former mayor, who’s in the midst of a 120-day sentence in the Wayne County Jail.

To try this yourself, go to and then click on “Offender Search” on the left side of the page. That gets you to OTIS’s terms of use. By agreeing at the bottom, you’ll get the general search page. While online, we looked for Kilpatrick’s buddy, Bobby Ferguson, who is on probation after serving time in the Wayne County Jail for pistol-whipping one of his former employees. We found his record but no photo.

As a probationer who served time in a county institution, Ferguson doesn’t get a picture on the site like felons serving in prisons do, says Russ Marlan, MDOC spokesman.

But as for Kilpatrick as late as Wednesday. Nothing.

“He should be there,” Marlan told us when we first inquired. After we insisted that Kilpatrick was indeed MIA, so to speak, Marlan did some digging around Lansing and then dutifully called us back.

“They were waiting for some additional information on his case, however it appears that they thought he was on there,” Marlan says. “We touched base with our technical folks and it should be in there this afternoon (Nov. 12) so it will be uploaded overnight and by tomorrow morning (Nov. 13) it should be in there.”

If you want to check on the good work of Marlan’s colleagues, Kilpatrick’s MDOC number is 702408. He's there.

We apologize to the employers of our readers for the untold hours in lost productivity from these searches.

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