MARCH 24, 2008
Proclaiming that the justice system has been severely mocked and public trust trampled, a Detroit county prosecutor who dragged out an investigation of the city’s corrupt mayor has finally charged him with perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.
Once a rising star in Michigan’s Democratic circles, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick now faces a 12-count indictment for lying under oath to cover an extramarital affair with a city staffer during a police whistleblower trail last year that cost taxpayers millions to settle.
Sexually explicit text messages, exchanged between the secret lovers on their city-issued pagers, subsequently revealed that both lied at trial. The cops had sued the city because they were fired for asking questions about the mayor’s security detail that could have led them to discover the secrete romance. The city eventually settled the case for $8.4 million.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says her office conducted a thorough investigation and sorted through thousands of pages of documents before filing the charges against the mayor and his former chief-of-staff and mistress Christine Beatty. The information has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people’s lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked and the public trust was trampled on, the prosecutor said.
Last week the Detroit City Council overwhelmingly voted to oust Kilpatrick who refuses to resign, even after being criminally indicted six years into his scandalous tenure. The self-described “Hip-Hop” mayor has been in trouble for hosting wild parties with strippers at the Governor’s Mansion, charging more than $210,000 in personal expenses on his city-issued credit card and using $25,000 in public funds to lease a fancy car for his wife during a time when a major budget deficit forced the city to eliminate 3,000 jobs and cut bus service.
The president of the Detroit City Council, Ken Cockrel, summed the fiasco up by saying, "This is a sad day for the city of Detroit." He pointed out that the mayor "set himself up for it."
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