Friday, January 25, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick, curator of The Detroit 'Zoo'

I am so glad I don’t live in Detroit. I spent time there in 2006 while my wife was downtown at Harper University Hospital. Lots and lots of decrepit, abandoned buildings. Of the errands I had to run, I made sure I ran all of them in broad daylight to avoid being on places like 8 Mile Road at night time.

A few years ago, I really thought the political career of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was D.O.A. when it was revealed that he’d used his city credit card for lots of personal purchases. Sure, he reimbursed the city, but only after his irresponsible use was exposed by the Detroit Free Press. Now, it’s been revealed that Mayor and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, now face possible perjury charges. Reportedly, the two lied under oath about:

Their alleged affair, which they denied. (The Free Press reported this: Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the records, a series of text messages, show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons… The newspaper examined nearly 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager. The exchanges, which the Free Press obtained after the trial, cover two months each in 2002 and 2003.” [Emphases mine]

And, (and this is another biggie):

The mayor and his chief of staff/girlfriend apparently lied about their involvement in the 2003 ousting of former Detroit Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown. The paper further reports: “The Kilpatrick-Beatty relationship and Brown's dismissal were central to the whistle-blower suit filed by Brown and Harold Nelthrope, a former police officer and mayoral bodyguard. The two cops accused Kilpatrick of retaliating against them because of their roles in an internal affairs investigation of the mayor's security team – a probe that potentially could have exposed the affair.

Brown has sued the city; the lawsuit has cost Detroit (already in debt as it is) more than $9 million.

Kilpatrick in the past reacted angrily to a Detroit news crew that had wanted to ask him questions about a Southern California vacation he took with his family. The mayor was caught on tape grabbing a microphone from a reporter and tossing it. The vacation cost the city more than $8,000 (which Kilpatrick later paid back after—again—it was made public). Kilpatrick also cancelled a “business” trip to Hawaii after word leaked that several TV stations planned to tail him there to make sure he was going to be there on business and not pleasure.

How this turkey has stayed in office is absolutely beyond me. I’ll never forget how, in the last election against challenger Freeman Hendrix, Kilpatrick decided to make himself seem more professional and mature by removing his earring. Believe me, all things considered, the earring should be the least of his worries.

Besides the growing calls for the mayor’s resignation (he and his family are reportedly in Florida right now, as of this blog posting), there is also talk that he and Beatty may face felony perjury charges.
(Photo of Kilpatrick and Beatty courtesy of the Detroit Free Press)

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