Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Detroit Mayor Sex Scandal: Kilpatrick and Beatty Arraigned Today

There hasn't been much to cover in the news lately, except for the Haut de la Garenne scandal. Although the Anthony Pellicano trial has gone into it's fourth week, the witness that initiated the entire investigation of Pellicano's detective agency back in 2002, journalist Anita Busch, has yet to testify. In the news, the last sex scandal that put a blip on the new radar was the Mark Jensen murder trial with Jensen's extensive collection of penises arranged by size found on his computer the talk of Internet.

PHOTO: Eric Seal/Detroit Free Press

Just a few moments ago, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his top aide, Christine Beatty were arraigned today on charges of perjury, conspiracy, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. Eight charges for Kilpatrick and seven for Beatty. CNN's In Session provided live coverage of the proceedings. These criminal charges arose out of a civil suit against the city by three fired employees. Here is a short synopsis of In Session's live coverage.

Back in 2002, there was an allegation that Mayor Kilpatrick was using his personal security to hide an ongoing affair with Beatty. An investigation ensued and three employees, one the deputy chief were let go. A civil suit was brought by these employees against the city, claiming they were let go because of whistle blowing. The civil case went to trial, and both the Mayor and Ms. Beatty took the stand and swore under oath that there was no sexual relationship. The Mayor (and I believe Beatty) also testified in that case that the employees were not fired because of the investigation. But as the trial progressed, suddenly it was settled for 8.6 million dollars.

After that settlement, the Detroit Free Press started investigating and they discovered that there were text messages that left no doubt the Mayor and Ms. Beatty were in a sexual relationship. Not long after that Kym Worthy, the chief prosecutor in Wayne County started an investigation into the whole affair. Was the 8.6 million pay out "hush money"? The "misconduct of office" charge is regarding the claim that Mayor Kilpatrick pushed for a settlement in the civil case to keep these text messages from surfacing.

Mayor Kilpatrick, elected back in 2001 and in the middle of a second term, has stated in the press that these charges are "racially motivated and that he has been targeted." Each defendant is out on a personal bond of $75 thousand. June 9th is the next preliminary examination date.

The Detroit Free Press has full coverage if this event.

Detroit Free Press Photo Gallery