AUGUST 11, 2008
Criminal charges keep piling up for Detroit’s self-destructive mayor who recently went to jail for violating the terms of his bond in a perjury and obstruction of justice case and this week faces more trouble for violating the terms of another bond in s separate assault case.
A rising star among Michigan Democrats, the mayor of America’s 11th-largest city made history by becoming the first in Detroit’s 300-plus years to spend the night in a jail cell. Wayne County Inmate No. 25330-08, also known as Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, can’t seem to stay out of trouble and lately has spent more time in court than City Hall. Last week a judge sent him to prison for violating his bond conditions in a perjury case by traveling to Canada.
In March the self-described “Hip-Hop Mayor” was charged with multiple felonies for lying under oath to cover an extramarital affair with a city staffer during a police whistleblower trial that cost taxpayers millions to settle. A 12-count indictment charges Kilpatrick with perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. The mayor had been free on his own recognizance but a judge slapped him with a $75,000 bond and restricted his travel because he couldn’t behave. He will however, be allowed to travel to the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
As if the serious perjury charges weren’t enough, a few weeks ago Kilpatrick assaulted a sheriff’s detective trying to serve a subpoena on one of his shady friends. The irate mayor pushed the detective, Brian White, and attacked him and his partner with profanity and racial remarks. During a court hearing about the incident, Detective White’s partner (former Detroit homicide cop Joanne Kinney) testified that the mayor, whom she had never met before, shouted at her during the altercation: “You are a black woman with a man with the last name White…You should be ashamed of yourself.”
Kilpatrick was subsequently charged with two counts of felonious assault for the incident. The terms of that bond include no contact with witnesses of the assault. Once again, the mayor flipped his finger at the law and spent the weekend with a key witness to the assault who happens to be his sister.
At a court hearing this week, the judge who already sent Kilpatrick to jail once will decide whether he will spend more times behind bars for this second bond violation. The only surprising thing about this story is that Kilpatrick has managed to stay out of jail this long considering the fact that his administration has been plagued by scandal after scandal.
He spent the a great deal of his first term partying with strippers at the mayor’s mansion and got busted for charging hundreds of thousands of dollars on his city-issued credit card for personal travel, meals and entertainment. He also used $25,000 of city funds to get his wife a fancy sports utility vehicle at a time when Detroit was in a deep financial crisis and thousands of city jobs were being cut.
It’s time for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to stop dancing around this issue and exercise her power to remove Kilpatrick from office.
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