JANUARY 31, 2008
Detroit’s controversial mayor, already in trouble for using city funds to finance his lavish lifestyle and get his wife a luxury car, has finally apologized for lying under oath in court to conceal an extramarital affair with a city employee.
Felony perjury carries up to 15 years in prison. The question now is when are prosecutors going to charge Kwame Kilpatrick, the self-described “Hip-Hop Mayor” who sports a diamond stud earring and spent a great deal of his first term partying with strippers at the mayor’s mansion?
A Detroit newspaper recently provided evidence that the mayor and his chief of staff lied under oath about their romantic relationship at a police whistleblower trail last summer. The paper got a hold of seedy text messages that prove Kilpatrick and his chief of staff (Christine Beatty) did in fact have a year-long heated romance that featured numerous sexual liaisons and tryst.
Thousands of messages were sent on city-issued pagers and some were too explicit to publish. The exchanges, however, were undeniably sexual and often mentioned their romantic getaways during business trips as well as others to local hotels since they were both married at the time.
Beatty resigned a few days after the text messages were made public and the mayor remained silent until this week. In a heartfelt speech delivered from the church he claims to attend regularly, Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness and told his constituents “I truly apologize.” Much like Hillary Clinton stood by her man when he got busted cheating, Kilpatrick’s wife was at his side holding his hand.
Kilpatrick ended his confession with a “God Bless You” and the assurance that he’s been in charge of the city even though there have been “ups and downs” since he took over as mayor in 2002. While the so-called ups have evidently eluded coverage, the downs of his tumultuous administration have been well documented.
Highlights include passing along the bill for his expensive taste to the taxpayers of the poor and struggling city he runs. During the first 33 months of his term, Kilpatrick charged more than $210,000 on his city-issued credit card for travel, meals and entertainment. He also used $25,000 of city funds to lease a fancy sports utility vehicle for his wife at a time when Detroit’s $230 million budget deficit forced him to eliminate 3,000 city jobs and cut bus service.
Kilpatrick also used a secret tax-exempt, nonprofit that supposedly conducts voter education and community improvements to pay for a $9,000 stay at a lavish California resort. The nonprofit (Kilpatrick Civic Fund) gets about half a million dollars annually from donors that are seldom made public and some of the money comes from organized labor as “political contributions.”
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