Detroit Mayor Charged With Perjury and Obstruction

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice as well as misconduct in office for lying about a romantic relationship with his former Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty. The pair were caught by text messages.

Both had denied the relationship under oath in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by Detroit police officers. The case was later settled for almost $9 million.

[DA Kim] Worthy began her investigation the day after the Free Press published excerpts of the embarrassing text messages in late January. The messages called into question testimony Kilpatrick and Beatty gave in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs.

In court, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having an intimate relationship, but the text messages reveal that they carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their trysts. Kilpatrick is married with three children. Beatty was married at the time and has two children.

...Documents released last month showed Kilpatrick agreed to the settlement in an effort to keep the text messages from becoming public.

The lawsuit alleged the officers were fired after investigating whether the Mayor's security unit had been used to cover up the affair. Mayor Kilpatrick today said he expects to be exonerated. [More...]

He intends to remain in office although many have called for him to step down. Beatty wasn't so lucky.

For Beatty, who attended high school with Kilpatrick and managed his campaigns for Michigan's state House and the mayor's office, the scandal forced her to resign.

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    Watched that news conference. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by clio on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 04:54:20 PM EST
    "...Honesty and integrity in the justice system is everything...
    Just when did honesty, integrity, truth and honor become traits to be mocked or downplayed or ignored or laughed at or excuses made for them? When did telling the truth become a supporting player to everything else?..."

    -Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, press conference 03/24/08

    I was really struck by DA Worthy's comments before she detailed the indictments.

    Talk about impassioned!  I was certainly impressed.
    Either she's the finest actress I've ever seen or she  believes in a society under rule of law and is willing to act on that belief.

    Should DA Worthy wish to run for the Michigan Supreme Court, or anything else, she would have my vote.

    She used to be a circuit court judge (none / 0) (#20)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:28:07 PM EST
    and left the bench to run for Wayne County Prosecutor

    Here is the text of her whole comment (none / 0) (#22)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:29:35 PM EST
    Hmmmm (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:38:31 PM EST
    The text messages published by the Free Press revealed a romantic discourse.

    How did the Free Press get the text messages? From police wiretaps?

    The Free Press got them (none / 0) (#9)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:35:48 PM EST
    through a FOIA request.  The text messages were done on city-owned phones.

    I watched the press conference from the Detroit airport.  People cheered.  It's about time - this guy is as crooked as they come.  This isn't the first instance where he has had shady dealings that have cost the city money.  He also may be somehow involved  in the murder of a stripper who danced at a party at his mayoral mansion (that no one can seem to "prove" even though there were tons of witnesses - no one wants to come forward).


    Either Not Too Bright (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:38:40 PM EST
    Or he felt like he was invincible. Probably not like Spitzer though, who seemed to have had a death wish.

    About a year after he took office, rumors surfaced that Kilpatrick had hosted a wild party involving a stripper at his city-owned mansion.

    State and city investigators determined that the rumors were false, but the matter has dogged the mayor ever since.

    True (none / 0) (#17)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 03:12:47 PM EST
    But the Michigan AG concluded there wasn't a party (of course, at the time it was rumored [and is being rumored again] that he concluded this because a)he may have been at the party and b) was going through his own public marital issues at the time). Since then, however, the AG (a Republican) has been quoted as saying the mayor needs to step down.  

    There is also new information/witnesses that have supposedly come forward where the stripper in question (Tamara Greene, aka "Strawberry") confided in her pastor (and adopted father figure) about the party and that she was scared. Supposedly, the party was at the mayoral mansion and "Strawberry" was caught touching the mayor inappropriately by the mayor's wife, who allegedly  beat "Strawberry" with a wooden spoon (or something like that). The original reports of "Stawberry's" murder linked it to drug deals (her boyfriend, who was also shot and has since recovered, was linked to drug/gang activity). However, it has been found that the gun that killed her (3 shots) and shot her boyfriend were police issued.

    This is definitely a case of innuendo, but it's getting a second look because with this mayor, where there's smoke, there's usually fire.

    (OT - his mother is Congresswoman Caroyln Cheeks-Kilpatrick - head of the Congressional Black Caucus)

    For the full story, go to the Free Press' website - they broke the story.



    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#18)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 03:21:14 PM EST
    (both were) Married With Children (none / 0) (#3)
    by Fabian on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:43:54 PM EST
    apparently job and parental responsibilities did not stand in the way of True Love!

    Nor did a host of legal and ethical issues and the risk of public disclosure.

    Oy.  People will never learn, will they?

    What party? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 01:53:00 PM EST

    I read the AP article, but unless I missed it the mayor's party affiliation is not mentioned.  What party was the mayor anyway?

    This is from Wikipedia.. (none / 0) (#6)
    by FlaDemFem on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:09:41 PM EST
    Kwame M. Kilpatrick (born June 6, 1970) is the mayor of Detroit, Michigan. Elected at age 31, he is the youngest mayor in the history of Detroit, as well as the third youngest current mayor of any major U.S. city (after Luke Ravenstahl of Pittsburgh and Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C.). Kilpatrick briefly addressed the 2004 Democratic National Convention. He is currently Vice President of the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and its representative to the Democratic National Committee.

    Kilpatrick served as the leader of the Democratic Caucus when elected to the Michigan State House of Representatives, making him the first African American to hold a leadership position in the Michigan Legislature.

    One wonders (none / 0) (#15)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 03:05:54 PM EST
    One wonders why AP chose to leave party affiliation out of the article.

    One Wonders??? (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:31:01 PM EST
    Amir, you are a master of satire...



    From what I've (none / 0) (#5)
    by Lil on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:05:17 PM EST
    seen so far of this story, he is a Dem and it is mostly Dems trying to get him out. At first glance, just based on mainstream news, he seems pretty guilty (not legally yet), but the way the story is being portrayed, not looking too good for him.

    And the entire Detroit City Council (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by shoephone on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:47:15 PM EST
    (except for Mrs. Conyers) voted that he should resign.

    I don't usually like criminal cases . . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by txpublicdefender on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:33:31 PM EST
    . . . stemming from consensual sexual relationships, but this case is different in my book.  My understanding is that the officers were suing, alleging that they were retaliated against for blowing the whistle on the mayor using taxpayer dollars to support his affair.  Both the mayor and his aide repeatedly denied any affair under oath.  If that is true, he should be prosecuted for perjury.  If government actors feel that they are immune from perjury even when lying repeatedly under oath about a material issue in a case regarding alleged government wrongdoing, then they can simply lie with impunity in such cases.  That should not be tolerated.  I want both defendants to get fair trials, and if the evidence proves insufficient, they should be exonerated.  But if these charges can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, they both should have to pay the price.

    It has nothing to do with sex (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:38:34 PM EST
    The fact was they both lied under oath about their affair in a whistleblower trial where two police officers were wrongfully terminated. then the mayor withheld the fact that these text messages existed from the city council, when the city council had to approve the settlement from the whistleblower trial.

    This alleged perjury (and the wrongful firing) cost the city almost $9 million dollars.  That's what this is about.


    Bravado? Or substantive? (none / 0) (#8)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 02:34:31 PM EST
    And [Kilpatrick's attorney] Webb said he would seek to block what so far has been the linchpin in the scandal - the text messages exchanged between Kilpatrick and Beatty - from being introduced at the trial.

    He said federal law bars the release of such messages in a civil case, and so the prosecution's obtaining of them is tainted.

    Even if the text messages are introduced, Kilpatrick's testimony "is not a perjury case," Webb said, because the questions asked [in the lawsuit filed by the two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs] were too ambiguous.

    "After a jury has heard the actual evidence in a courtroom," he said, "the mayor will be found not guilty and he will be exonerated of each one of the charges."

    Considering what has been reported:
    Kilpatrick and Beatty were called to testify in the trial last summer, and each was asked whether they were romantically or intimately involved. Beatty rolled her eyes and answered no. Kilpatrick emphatically said no, adding that the question was tantamount to calling Beatty a "whore."
    Kilpatrick's defense may be of the "Well, it depends on what the meaning of is is" variety...

    Single Party Politics (none / 0) (#14)
    by jarober on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 03:00:42 PM EST
    As the Republicans demonstrated at the national level recently, single party politics is a very bad idea.  It leads to politicians who start to think of themselves as beyond the rules.  A lot of American cities would be a lot better off if there was a viable Republican opposition party locally - and for exactly the same reasons that people here wanted a strong Democratic opposition during the early part of the Bush term.

    As a note (none / 0) (#16)
    by ColumbiaDuck on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 03:08:43 PM EST
    Kilpatrick's mom is Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick - 6 term Michigan congresswoman and member of the Appropriations Committee.

    it just never ceases to amaze me (none / 0) (#21)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:29:23 PM EST
    how supposedly really smart people get tripped up by details. you always leave something behind, always.

    had they not been using public assets, this would have been strictly a matter between the parties (him, her, his wife, her husband) and while it would have made for good gossip column talk, nobody would be calling for his head.

    stupid, stupid and arrogant.

    Apparently (none / 0) (#24)
    by cmugirl on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:32:34 PM EST
    These people don't watch "Law & Order" or "CSI".

    well geez, (none / 0) (#25)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 06:46:42 PM EST
    however would they find the time? lol

    What? (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 09:34:46 PM EST
    5 minutes would harm the show?



    on the public dime (none / 0) (#23)
    by sister of ye on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 05:30:40 PM EST
    Normally I don't care who a politican messes around with. I may not think well of him/her for it, but I wouldn't call for political consequences.

    However, as a Detroit resident and taxpayer, I'm angered that Kilpatrick couldn't do his messing around on his own time and money, not the citizens'. It's not the only time he's been accused of having a high time with women not his wife at the city's expense.

    The settlement cost Detroit money that could better go toward the public good. The city legal department has had time and money drawn away from pursuing real, vital business.

    At the same time Kilpatrick has failed to competently attend to other business. His budget department once again failed to submit reports to the State needed to obtain revenue sharing funds, costing us more badly needed millions.

    BTW, on a humorous note, the MI AG has the Simsonesque name of Mike Cox.

    WSWS on gangsterism (none / 0) (#29)
    by Andreas on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 04:11:00 AM EST
    The descent of the Kilpatrick administration into gangsterism is a demonstration, not merely of his personal corruption, but of the decay of the whole Democratic Party establishment in Detroit. The Democratic Party has long abandoned even token efforts to improve the living standards and social conditions of the masses of impoverished working people in the city. Its leading personnel, black and white, have integrated themselves into the corporate establishment and many of them have seen the resources of the city as an opportunity for personal enrichment.

    Detroit mayor charged on eight criminal counts
    By Patrick Martin, 25 March 2008