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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Pleads Guilty and Steps Down

posted by Chris Valentine

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has stepped down following a very turbulent political career as seen here and here.

Story From Freep:

After an extraordinary day that saw him plead guilty to two felonies, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spoke for the first time publicly this evening. Telling Detroiters “I’ve always said that you need to stand strong for the City of Detroit…but sometimes standing strong means stepping down,” Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick delivered a televised speech that was part-apology, part campaign speech.

“I’m stepping down because the new spirit of this city, the new expectations and standards that we’ve set for excellence in the past six and a half years has been tangled up in what I believe is the pursuit of many people’s own political ambitions, even our governor, Jennifer Granholm, who I wish well,” he said. “Rather than focusing on the huge issues that are facing our state, from the record home foreclosures, the lack of affordable healthcare, a record unemployment in our state, Kwame Kilpatrick was at the top of her list,” he said. “I wish her well and hope that the same tenacity, the same professionalism, if you will, and intensity that went around putting together a quasi-administrative court will also be the same tenacity to solve the problem of the people of the state of Michigan.”

The Details

Kilpatrick’s guilty plea this morning ended a nearly eight-month drama that has transfixed the region. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obstructing justice by committing perjury. He will spend four months in jail, pay up to $1 million in restitution, and serve five years’ probation. He also agreed not to run for office during that five-year span.

In addition, the mayor agreed to a no-contest plea to one count of felonious assault for shoving a sheriff’s deputy in July who had tried to serve a subpoena on Kilpatrick’s friend. He agreed to serve four months on that charge, too, but it will be served at the same time as his other sentence.

The deals also call for Kilpatrick to turn over his state pension to the City of Detroit, which paid $8.4 million to settle two whistle-blower lawsuits three former cops filed against the city. The mayor was charged with eight felony counts ranging from conspiracy to perjury to misconduct in office to obstruction of justice after the Free Press revealed in January that the mayor lied on the witness stand during a police whistle-blower trial and gave misleading testimony about whether he intended to fire a deputy police chief investigating allegations of wrongdoing by members of his inner circle.

In a rushed monotone, before a standing-room only audience, Kilpatrick told Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner: “I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit … I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury, to impede and obstruct the disposition of justice.”

Sentencing will be at 2 p.m. Oct. 28 As part of the deal, Kilpatrick has two weeks to vacate the office of mayor.

Kilpatrick shook hands with Christine Beatty, his former chief of staff and ex-lover. Beatty’s lawyers got Groner to delay her separate criminal case for a week while she tries to hammer out her own plea deal. First Lady Carlita Kilpatrick sat in the audience, a few feet behind her husband, with a stern face throughout the proceedings. It was the first time she had been in a courtroom with Beatty since the scandal started in January.

<em>Christine Beatty</em>

Christine Beatty

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