The man who created a Web site purporting to raise money for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's $1-million restitution tab admitted Monday that the pitch was a stunt.
"It was just a publicity stunt to get recognition," the man said Monday, adding that he created the Web site www.kwamekilpatrick2014.org to call attention to his blog, which he linked to the Kilpatrick page. The man wouldn't identify himself, but acquaintances told the Free Press and public records verified that he is Charles Fitch, 36, of Canton.
He also contended he created the site because he supports Kilpatrick and is angry that Gov. Jennifer Granholm conducted a removal hearing last week that essentially forced the mayor to plead guilty Thursday to two felonies in the text messaging scandal.
Kilpatrick's plea calls for him to serve 4 months in jail, 5 years of probation and pay $1 million in restitution for his role in settling a police whistle-blower lawsuit for $8.4 million last year to conceal text messages showing he and his former chief of staff had an extramarital affair, contrary to his trial testimony. He resigned effective Sept. 18.
The Web site's owner said the site didn't receive any donations and said he has PayPal records to prove it.
The Detroit Police Department said it has no plans to investigate the Web site.
Mayoral spokesman James Canning identified the site Sunday as a fake.
The site exhorted visitors to support Kilpatrick for mayor in 2014, even though Kilpatrick, should he decide to run for mayor again, could not do so until 2017.
A link on the site directed supporters of the mayor to a page containing links to other sites registered to maxelll3752, including a get-rich marketing pitch and a gasoline raffle.
The site's owner said he runs a server that lists those sites but does not own them.
By early afternoon Monday, the portion of the site enabling contributions was removed.