Chicago's 'Rooftop Pastor' Gave Money To Former Detroit Mayor

Corey Brooks "deeply regrets that this gift has offended anyone"

Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013  |  Updated 8:46 AM CDT
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Corey Brooks, known as Chicago's "rooftop pastor" for his three-month vigil atop a former Super Motel, reportedly gave Detroit's indicted former mayor $2,000.

Corey Brooks said Tuesday he wired Kwame Kilpatrick the money because of a touching letter from Kilpatrick asking for financial help for his family over the holidays, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 and served 14 months in prison for perjury and obstruction of justice. 

Brooks called the letter heart-wrenching and wired the money to a Wal-Mart in Michigan on Dec. 11. He said the money came from church members' donations and noted it was one of the ways his family helped people in need during the Christmas season.

"As a pastor and community leader, my calling is to exhibit love and grace to all people – particularly to the forgotten and rejected members of society – even when it’s uncomfortable," Brooks said in a statement. "When we recently gave a benevolent gift to the Kwame Kilpatrick family, we were staying true to our mission."

Kilpatrick said the wired donation was trivial, but it could be a legal matter for the former politician.

A Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman told the Detroit Free Press Kilpatrick lied about the money when his parole officer asked him about his finances.

The Tribune reports he pocketed $800 of the money and sent the rest along to his family in Texas.

The Department of Corrections is investigating the matter.

Brooks meanwhile said this isn't the first his church gave aid to someone who "is not universally loved by all."

"While we deeply regret that this gift has offended anyone – particularly residents of Detroit – we hope that people will understand that our mission is not to judge, but to love," he said.

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