Charges Continue Piling Up Against Detroit Mayor

Ed White and Corey Williams, AP, August 8, 2008

For anyone keeping score, the leader of the nation’s 11th-largest city now faces 10 felony charges in two separate cases.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged Friday with assaulting two investigators who were trying to deliver a subpoena to the mayor’s friend last month. The two felony counts carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison or a fine of $2,000.

Kilpatrick spent Thursday night in jail after violating bond conditions in the other case against him. He is accused along with a former top aide of perjury and other charges over their testimony in a lawsuit.

The city charter says a felony conviction evicts him from office. The City Council already wants to bounce Kilpatrick on other grounds. And Gov. Jennifer Granholm, acting under a little-used state law, has scheduled a hearing for Sept. 3 that could lead to his removal for misconduct.

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Since March, Kilpatrick and former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty have been charged with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice for their testimony in a lawsuit brought by a former deputy police chief who claimed he was illegally fired.

A key part of that case involved denials of an affair between Kilpatrick and Beatty. But text messages that became public earlier this year contradicted their denials and led to criminal charges. Arraignment is set for Thursday.

Brian White, a sheriff’s detective and chief investigator in the case, said he was looking to serve a subpoena on Bobby Ferguson, a Kilpatrick ally, when he believed he had seen his truck outside a house July 24.

When he knocked, however, White said he instead found Kilpatrick rushing through the door, pushing the detective into his partner and yelling profanities and racist remarks. The mayor is black, and White is white.

The attorney general’s office lists 11 witnesses in the case, including four members of the mayor’s security detail.

“In my almost 20 years, first as a prosecutor and now as an attorney general . . . I cannot recall ever seeing, let alone hearing, of a situation where a police officer trying to serve a subpoena was assaulted,” Cox said.

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