Kilpatrick Pleads, Resigns

Kwame Kilpatrick has resigned as mayor of Detroit. Kilpatrick, who was facing a number of felony charges arising out of lies he told about an extramarital affair with an aide and other improper actions he took to keep the affair secret, resigned as a condition of a plea agreement to resolve those charges.

He agreed to plead guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice, pay restitution to the city of $1 million, give up his law license, forfeit his state pension and serve 120 days in the Wayne County jail. His resignation is to take effect within 14 days. All other charges were dismissed, and the judge scheduled sentencing for Oct. 28.

Detroit has been even more dysfunctional than usual since the Kilpatrick scandal became public. Now that this chapter in the city's history has ended, Detroit has a chance to make a new beginning. The Detroit City Council president will take over until a new mayor is elected.

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    Abuse of power (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:25:49 AM EST
    Let me tell a little bit of the story because it's a heck of a lot worse than Bill Clinton lying about an affair under oath.

    It started with a whistleblower lawsuit against Kilpatrick by two city cops who alleged they had been fired for getting too close to the mayor while investigating misconduct among his bodyguards, wild partying at the mayoral mansion, etc.

    One of the allegations was that the cops were fired because they were getting close to uncovering evidence that the mayor was having an affair.  The mayor testified under oath that he never had an affair.

    A jury found in favor of the cops, but the mayor was determined to appeal.  While the appeal process was underway, however, the attorneys for the fired cops finally won a three-year battle over document subpoenas and got their hands on the smoking gun to end all smoking guns - text messages between Kilpatrick and his chief of staff proving that they were, in fact, having an affair and that Kilpatrick had lied under oath.

    In order to keep this evidence from seeing daylight, Kilpatrick suddenly announced that he had had an epiphany and wanted to settle with the cops for a cool $8 million of city money.  What he did - and this only came out in full during a hearing yesterday before the governor - was have his lawyers prepare multiple settlement agreements to be signed.  One of them was a standard agreement providing for payment of the $8 million.  A separate agreement provided that the text messages and other incriminating evidence would be locked away and kept forever confidential.  And even though the city council needed to approve the settlement, Kilpatrick only gave them the first, vanilla settlement agreement, and never disclosed the existence of the separate agreement relating to the text messages.

    In other words, what Kilpatrick did was, first, expose the city to major liability by engaging in the retaliatory firings of two cops.  Then, even worse, he arranged for a massive settlement with those cops, to be paid with city money, in order to keep evidence under wraps that he had had an affair with his chief of staff and lied under oath about it.  Needless to say, that's $8 million the City of Detroit could definitely use for a lot of other things.

    There's a lot more to the story but this is the heart of it.  A very, very serious case of abuse of power, and it's just been a terrible thing for the city.  This is one case where the cliche about needing to start the healing process definitely holds true.

    Thanks for that. (none / 0) (#12)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:46:39 AM EST
    It helps me better understand the million dollar fine.  I doubt he'll ever be able to pay it though.  Seems to me he is completely ruined.  But who knows.  G. Gordon Liddy has done fine for himself.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:01:40 PM EST
    it is not clear to me whether the money is in addition to his state pension he is turning over to the city, or if those two things are one and the same.  Maybe he's paying restitution by letting the city collect his state pension to which he otherwise would be entitled.

    Kilpatrick is part of a political dynasty, they do quite well.  I'm not sure he has $1 million but he has always lived a pretty flashy lifestyle.  I suspect it will get paid one way or another.

    It's a shame, too, because when he was willing to get serious about his job, he did do some good things for the city.  There's some talent going to waste as a result of his immature actions.


    He can always ask his mom, (none / 0) (#13)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:58:37 AM EST
    U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, for the cash.  She squeaked by in this years primaries.  His dad, Bernard N. Kilpatrick, is busy, having also been recently indicted.

    What a lovely family.

    The real fun has just begun.  Several members of the Detroit City Council, including Monica Conyers, the wife of U.S. Congressman, and failed deliverer of George W. Bush's impeachment, John Conyers, are under investigation in a trash hauling contract bribery scandal.


    My family are 8th generation Detroiters (none / 0) (#16)
    by SarahSpin on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:07:02 PM EST
    I just hope to God that someone can find a way to lead this once-proud city out of its perpetual doldrums.  Our own family has been divided over Kwame.  His mayoral tenure was a waste; waste of talent, waste of money - all in an excess of hubris.  He did bring a lot of events to the city, including the Super Bowl and next year's Final Four.  Unfortunately, he also seemed committed to giving off an inappropriate hip-hop vibe and to excess of lifestyle.  It's sad.  I hope that the City Council comes to its senses.

    For my money (none / 0) (#17)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:16:03 PM EST
    Dennis Archer was the best, and it's a tragedy that the Coleman Young loyalists ran him out of office.

    Times have changed in Detroit, it's no longer a constant war between the city and suburbs, even though Kwame did everything in his power to reignite the flames.  Even L. Brooks Patterson has gotten soft on the subject of Detroit.  The state and the metro region all want Detroit to succeed - all that's missing is a leader whom all sides can get behind.  Maybe Dave Bing will run after all.


    I have to like the idea of Mayor Bing (none / 0) (#19)
    by SarahSpin on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:27:03 PM EST
    I don't know that much about his politics, but I heard him speak recently and was more impressed than I thought I'd be.  Do we know where he stands politically?

    Where does a disgraced former mayor (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Redshoes on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:28:55 AM EST
    get $1 million?  

    It is reported as "restiution," (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:33:13 AM EST
    which means he is giving money back to the city.  Presumably that's where he got the money from the begin with.  Doesn't mean he's still got it though.

    (Pure supposition and a little snark for good measure)

    Wrong City (none / 0) (#1)
    by bselznick on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:10:38 AM EST
    I think you mean Detroit when you wrote New York.  Kilpatrick is the mayor of Detroit not New York.

    First sentence of post says (none / 0) (#2)
    by shoephone on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:14:06 AM EST
    Kilpatrick resigned as mayor of New York. instead of Detroit.

    He arrogantly put himself above the interests of the city. It's good that this saga is ending.

    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! (none / 0) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    Kwame Kilpatrick has resigned as mayor of New York.

    What is the problem that left bloggers have with New York?  Can someone answer that for me?  Sheesh!

    Sorry (none / 0) (#4)
    by TChris on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:20:52 AM EST
    Stupid mistake.  I must still have Rudy on my mind.

    My comment (none / 0) (#6)
    by lepidus on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:23:58 AM EST
    seems to have been deleted, and I'm not sure why. Could you let me know what I said wrong so that I can try to avoid it in future?

    The only (none / 0) (#8)
    by TChris on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:26:11 AM EST
    comment I deleted from this thread was an advertisement for another website that was off topic.  I didn't (or see) your comment.

    Ok (none / 0) (#9)
    by lepidus on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 11:28:44 AM EST
    I think it's some kind of computer thing. Cause I'm having difficulty getting my browser to post this reply too.



    Rudy (none / 0) (#46)
    by cal1942 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:01:56 PM EST
    I must still have Rudy on my mind.

    Now that's a real burden. I had forgotten about him until the last few days when his mug showed up in convention photos. Now I feel burdened again.


    ha (none / 0) (#18)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:26:45 PM EST
    Don't be sexist!  


    Last sentence (none / 0) (#20)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:30:36 PM EST

    We have to read to the very last sentence in the NYT piece to discover that Kilpatrick was a Democrat.

    well (none / 0) (#22)
    by connecticut yankee on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:40:39 PM EST
    If you have to read the last sentence of an article to know that the major of Detroit is a democrat....

    Its a good story because a Democrat abused the police and was was finally removed from office by his fellow Democrats.  He had few backers left in the city government or anywhere else. When a republican tries it, its fully justified because um... well...

    She clearly pressured this man, as emails from her Yahoo account show.  Her aide will insist he acted alone in his pressuring but the people of alaska are intensely iterested in the story and it's caused her numbers to drop.


    Not everywhere (none / 0) (#48)
    by cal1942 on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:07:06 PM EST
    We have to read to the very last sentence in the NYT piece to discover that Kilpatrick was a Democrat.

    In another article the party was named within the first few words, almost like the writer just couldn't wait.

    Different for the GOP. When Foley was identified in some articles as a Congressman with no mention of party; same for some articles about Craig and for that matter Abramoff IDed only as a lobbyists in many articles without mention of his Republicans only pedigree and activity.


    This is my favorite part (none / 0) (#21)
    by JAB on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:38:52 PM EST
    Kwame's council in the removal hearing that started yesterday in front of the governor (Sharon McPhail - another blot on the city of Detroit as a council member, who has tendered her resignation today), made this argument as to why Kwame should not be removed:

    Kilpatrick attorney Sharon McPhail countered with a four-pronged attack, disputing that Kilpatrick settled the police suits to cover his own hide and disputed that he misled the council by failing to tell its members of the secret deal to hide his text messages.

    Referring to a wide-ranging federal investigation of city officials stemming from a sludge-hauling contract, McPhail told Granholm: "We're here on petition of the City Council, half of whom, by the way, are awaiting indictment on far worse charges than they've proffered to you against the mayor."

    Um....as an attorney, I don't think that's the argument I would have made, but I'm not a litigator, so what do I know?

    BTW - The Chief of Police (Ella Bully-Cummings) has also resigned.

    The dominoes are falling....

    Sharon McPhail (none / 0) (#23)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 12:44:26 PM EST
    is a very bad egg in my book.  The fact that Coleman Young wanted her to take over his machine is all you really need to know.  I'm happy to hear she resigned.

    Detroit...what my 'kid' - (none / 0) (#24)
    by oldpro on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 01:07:19 PM EST
    who changed buses in Detroit heading back to college - once called the armpit of America.

    Sounds like more Chicago-style politics to me with a bit of Louisiana sauce on the side.

    Not good for Democrats.

    Trumped Up Scandal Of the Day! (none / 0) (#25)
    by Fayed X on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 01:10:30 PM EST
    If there ever was a situation of people not understanding how different cultures operate it is this case.  The Honorable Mayor was treated horribly by the press and I'm suprised there is not more outrage at how this man has been treated.  LOOK at the double standards!  Larry Craig still holds his Senate seat and he did far worse than the Mayor did.  I just can't believe we are going to allow this without speaking out against the people that orchestrated this!

    You will be entertaining to have around. (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:43:56 PM EST
    I Guess It's Entertaining to See Injustice Done (none / 0) (#31)
    by Fayed X on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:24:25 PM EST
    I don't know why you think it's entertaining.  That seems sad to me.

    I believe I said you'll be entertaining. (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:42:58 PM EST
    Why does everyone have to waste their time correcting your intentional, I assume, mischaracterization of their comments?

    Not a good start to your TL career...


    I would like to see you (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 03:46:04 PM EST
    respond factually to my post above and explain how Kwame Kilpatrick's deeds were not as bad as Larry Craig's.

    Responding to Lies, Forgeries and Faked Evidence (none / 0) (#37)
    by Fayed X on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:18:49 PM EST
    How can I respond to the "evidence" when there isn't any.  It would be really easy for me to type of supposed messages between you and your mistress but that wouldn't make it true.  The truth is out there and is well documented!  Mayor Kirlpatrick was framed and is finally just trying to keep out of jail.  

    His life was threatened!  

    Did you know that?  Doesn't it seem just a little bit strange to you that the best African Mayor in the United States just happend to be charged with corruption.  Can't you see this is part of a larger plan?  I'm not saying I know all the players but I know a setup when I see it.


    Okay (none / 0) (#47)
    by Steve M on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:04:13 PM EST
    Kinda funny that it took a three-year subpoena battle for these cops to get their hands on the "faked" text messages.  Do you suppose it takes three years to type out faked messages on a piece of paper?

    And then the minute Kilpatrick finds out that the cops' lawyers have their hands on the "faked" messages, he instantly agrees to settle the lawsuit for $8 million of city money.  Not even "hey, wait, what messages? how could you possibly have any text messages that show me having an affair?"

    Really, it makes no more sense than a 9/11 conspiracy theory.  I honestly don't know if you're for real or not, but there certainly are people out there who support the guy, so I don't discount the possibility.  If you think about it, though, Kilpatrick's actions are completely inconsistent with the theory that he was framed.


    "extramarital affair" ? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Andreas on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:36:05 PM EST
    The reference to "lies he told about an extramarital affair ... and other improper actions" obviously is made to indicate that the charges are as illegitimate as those against Bill Clinton.

    No surprise that according to TChris the main problem was that "the Kilpatrick scandal became public."

    In reality the Democrat Kwame Kilpatrick was using gangster methods:

    After jailing, Detroit mayor faces strong pressure to resign
    By Jerry White, 13 August 2008

    That was (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by TChris on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 02:58:58 PM EST
    not my intent and not, I think, a fair reading of my post.  As my previous posts on the subject make clear, I am no fan of Kilpatrick.  Detroit will be much better off without him.

    No (none / 0) (#35)
    by JAB on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:01:02 PM EST
    No one card about the affair, except that it just added more proof as to what his character is.  The problem is, he lied on the stand, and then made a secret deal with the defense,which he did not tell the city council about, so they settled an almost $9 million lawsuit.  That would be $9 million out of the city coffers - paid for by taxpayers - in a city where they have been reduced to cutting things like 911 service, and where people pay outrageous taxes for the privilege of living there.

    The fact that he pled to only 2 counts is a miracle, since he was originally indicted on 8.  

    He got off easy.


    Question about Words Used (none / 0) (#38)
    by Fayed X on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:20:42 PM EST
    Just out of curiousity did you describe Eliot Spitser as using "gangster methods".  Why is that simply because an African man was charged with a crime that it is suddenly part of something larger.  Does it have to be so siniter to you?

    Huh, my guess? (none / 0) (#49)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:22:53 PM EST
    Because that's the term used in the article he linked to:
    The allegations of personal corruption and gangsterism have now made Kilpatrick a political liability;

    This is not about an "African man" (none / 0) (#51)
    by Andreas on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:20:05 PM EST
    Kilpatrick is not an oppressed black person but part of the Democratic establishment. The police-state attacks on Spitzer had a very different background.

    I suggest that you withdraw your baseless insinuations.


    Well (none / 0) (#43)
    by JAB on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 06:40:49 PM EST
    Kwame himself always called himself "The Hip Hop Mayor" who ran around with his "posse".

    And... (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 07:23:49 PM EST
    ...that's what the article he linked to said:
    The allegations of personal corruption and gangsterism have now made Kilpatrick a political liability;

    See reply above (none / 0) (#52)
    by Andreas on Thu Sep 04, 2008 at 10:21:58 PM EST
    See my reply to your previous comment.