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Detroit Mayor Indicted on 12 Counts


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And throughout suburban Detroit, there was much rejoicing...

Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick charged with perjury, obstruction, misconduct

Mike Wilkinson / The Detroit News

DETROIT --Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has filed felony charges against Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, accusing both of perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office, charges that could send both to prison in connection with the text-message scandal.

"Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people's lives were ruined, the justice system was severely mocked and the public trust trampled on," Worthy said. "This is as far from being a private matter as one can get."

She expects the mayor and Beatty to turn themselves in by 7 a.m. Tuesday for arraignment in 36th District Court.

Worthy, who said her investigators reviewed more than 40,000 pages of documents and interviewed many witnesses, also blasted unnamed lawyers for hindering the investigation and said that city documents had been lost or destroyed.

Mayer Morganroth, lawyer for Beatty, said he was surprised by the charges.

"I think she's wrong," Morganroth said of Worthy.

Morganroth said he had not yet had a chance to talk with Beatty and he did not know when she would be turning herself in.

The announcement takes the text-message scandal, once relegated to civil court and accusations of privacy and freedom of the press, into a criminal matter that could send the mayor and Beatty to prison. A perjury conviction can bring a prison term of up to 15 years.

The flirtatious text messages point to an affair between Kilpatrick and Beatty in 2002 and 2003, which both had denied under oath when they testified at the police whistle-blower trial in 2007. The messages also suggest former Detroit Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown had been fired, which Kilpatrick and Beatty had denied under oath.

Worthy said there are other potential defendants but that obstacles put in place by those unnamed lawyers has hindered the investigation.

"So we will continue our investigation into their activities," she said.

She also said she has talked to the U.S. Attorney's office but would not elaborate.

Worthy accused Kilpatrick and Beatty of not only lying during last year's whistle-blower trial, but repeatedly in sworn statements given dating back to 2003 regarding Brown's firing.

One perjury charge against Beatty was filed because she lied about knowing anything about the mayor's philandering, Worthy said.

James C. Thomas, one of the mayor's lawyers, said just before 11 a.m. that he had not heard anything from the prosecutor about whether she intends to file charges.

Kilpatrick faces a total of eight counts -- one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice, both of which are five-year felonies. He is charged with two counts of misconduct in office, two counts of perjury in a court proceeding and two counts of perjury other than a court proceeding. Those charges are 15-year felonies.

Beatty is facing seven counts -- one count each of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. In addition, she is charged with two counts each of perjury in a court proceeding, a 15-year felony, and perjury other than a court proceeding, also a 15-year-felony.

The charges alone could only add more pressure to Kilpatrick to step down -- something other politicians, business leaders, pastors and the public have suggested for weeks.

Kilpatrick is the second mayor of Detroit to be charged with a crime while in office. Under the city charter, he can only be removed from office if he is convicted of a felony.

Kilpatrick has repeatedly vowed not to resign; Beatty resigned in February and has been looking for work since then.

Worthy's investigation stemmed from the aftermath of the city's decision to settle claims made by three former Detroit police officers, two of whom had won a $6.5 million whistle-blower verdict against the city last September after they claimed they were punished for investigating claims against the mayor and his bodyguards.

Former Deputy Chief Gary Brown said he was fired after investigating claims by Harold Nelthrope, an officer who said he feared for his life after he passed on concerns about the mayor's bodyguards.

After the trial, Mike Stefani, one of the officers' attorneys, obtained a copy of the text messages sent and received from Beatty's city-issued SkyTel pager. He had asked for them during the preparation for the trial but did not receive them.

During negotiations over his attorney fees, Stefani told one of Kilpatrick's city-paid lawyers that he had the messages and was going to tell the trial judge. That information spurred the lawyers to quickly reach a settlement on the case a little over a month after Kilpatrick had vowed to appeal.

As part of that settlement, the officers got a total of $8.4 million and Stefani was required to turn over all copies of the text messages to the mayor's attorney -- and agree never to talk about them.

When the city council approved the settlement, however, it was not told about the text messages or the secret deal meant to hide them from public view.

Then in January, published excerpts of the text messages strongly contradicted Kilpatrick and Beatty's testimony that they did not have a romantic relationship and did not fire Brown.

Detroit News reporter Robert Snell contributed to this story. You can reach Mike Wilkinson at (313) 222-2563 or mwilkinson@detnews.com.

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when i was in AA for school, i remember this clown would do radio shoutouts for local hiphop stations "this is detroit's hip hop mayor for detroit's hottest hip hop station, HOT 102.7." good riddance, clown.

I didn't know you went throught the AA program. Congratulations. Stay strong and drink free.

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You got nothing on our New Jersey politicians as far as corruption.

I don't know, there is reason to believe he had a stripper killed (by a detroit police officer no less) who could have spoken out about information over a sex party at the Manoogian Mansion, which is the Detroit Mayor's residence in addition to all the crap going on right now. So I think that might qualify him among the NJ politicians.

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when i was in AA for school, i remember this clown would do radio shoutouts for local hiphop stations "this is detroit's hip hop mayor for detroit's hottest hip hop station, HOT 102.7." good riddance, clown.

He's a joke, and the only people who are bigger tools than he is are the people who live in the city and defend him. They whine about the suburbs staying out of the city's business while their own mayor pisses away their money.

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He's a knucklehead, but the people won't likely pick anyone better next time.

Kobe24 for mayor!!!

:biggrin: Sad but true. I'm always amazed when they do something really stupid or bad, have the balls to run for re-election. Then WIN !!! WTF ???

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