JANUARY 25, 2008
The mayor of a major U.S. city and his chief of staff lied under oath at a police whistleblower trial to conceal their extramarital affair and could face up to 15 years in prison for felony perjury.
During court testimony last summer Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick repeatedly denied his romantic relationship with his city employee (Christine Beatty), but newly released text messages prove that he did in fact have a year-long heated romance that featured numerous sexual liaisons and trysts.
Many of the thousands of text messages, sent on a city-issued pager, were so explicit that the Detroit newspaper that exposed them this week could not publish most of them. 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.
The mayor’s extramarital affair was at the center of a trial in which the city’s deputy police chief and an officer claimed they got fired in retaliation for conducting an investigation that could have exposed the secret romance. The men played key roles in an internal affairs probe of Kilpatrick’s security team and a county jury awarded them $6.5 million over the summer for their unlawful dismissal. Additionally, the city spent about $2 million to defend the case.
This week the county prosecutor announced that she has opened an investigation into the mayor’s text messaging scandal and a powerful union of state and county employees has called for his resignation, claiming that the mayor has compromised the public trust and “nobody can believe a single thing he says from now on.” Additionally, Kilpatrick, who is a lawyer, could face sanctions from the state’s bar association.
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