Kwame Kilpatrick’s release brings back painful memories for former Detroit assistant chief


DETROIT – When Kwame Kilpatrick had his sentence commuted by former President Donald Trump, bad memories surfaced for Steve Dolunt, a retired Detroit deputy chief of police.

On Tuesday, Dolunt shared the painful time in his life and career during Kilpatrick’s tenure as Detroit Mayor.

“They went through hell and worried about me and I didn’t know then how they worried about me,” he said.

Dolunt got emotional talking about the incredible stress his family was under, which began in 2003 when his life and career were turned upside down.

Read: Almost 8 Years Ago: Kwame Kilpatrick Convicted of 24 Federal Crimes

Kilpatrick was the reason, and when the embarrassed mayor was freed in January 2021, years of emotion were again torn for Dolunt’s wife.

“I called home and she had tears in her eyes. She was angry and upset. I said what’s the problem? She said they took you through hell, “added Dolunt.

It started when Dolunt was transferred to the Detroit Police Department internal affairs department.

He received three memos expressing worrying concerns that Kilpatrick’s security detail officers were involved in a party with strippers at the Manoogian Mansion.

There were allegations of overtime abuse and crash of department vehicles being repaired under the table. However, Kilpatrick was not mentioned.

Read more: Trump commutes former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s verdict after seven years in prison

“We examined the staff officials. Not him. One thing led to another. Didn’t help that Strawberry (Tamara Greene) the dancer was killed. It rose and rose in the balloon. Gary Brown, who is now in charge of the water department, got ripped off. He has. Conclusion, ”said Dolunt.

Then Assistant Police Commissioner Gary Brown was fired. Dolunt was then disfellowshipped from the investigation he initiated.

“The ironic part is that I had internal affairs and got locked out of my files and got my job done professionally and horribly. I’ve been downgraded, transferred. It was terrible. It was really bad, ”he said.

The department has broadcast Dolunt 12 times in two years.

Jerry Oliver was the Detroit Police Chief at the time.

“Jerry Oliver said to me an amoeba is more useful than examining the mayor. But I didn’t examine the mayor, it was his officers. It reached the level of mayor’s office, ”he said.

There was Greene’s murder. Kilpatrick’s text messages came to light. Then campaign money scandals and manipulated contracts were investigated.

Dolunt was not involved in any of these investigations. Instead, he says his department relentlessly made life difficult for him and even sent him home to get a box to tidy his desk in.

“I had to go home. My wife says what are you doing here Are you home for lunch? She could tell something was wrong. It’s hard to tell your family that you have been demoted. You didn’t do anything wrong, which was really, really difficult, ”he said.

And the hardest thing for Dolunt was that he walked out of his office with this box in front of his colleagues.

He could have ignored it and pushed it all under his desk. Dolunt says the right thing to do was to investigate as the story got bigger.

“For me the kicker is, Kwame Kilpatrick is one of the most charismatic people I have ever met. He could have been the first black president, and I honestly believe that in my heart. He was so smart. He was so good. Unfortunately he was also a criminal, ”he said.

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