Judge Tightens Reins on Mayor

David Josar, Doug Guthrie and Oralandar Brand-Williams, Detroit News, July 26, 2008

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, already facing criminal perjury and obstruction charges, was chastised by a Wayne County judge on Friday after law enforcement officials described the mayor physically and verbally assaulting them a day earlier.

Calling Kilpatrick’s behavior “irrational,” District Judge Ronald Giles severely restricted his bond arrangements. No longer can the mayor of Michigan’s largest city travel out of state without permission. No longer is he released on his own recognizance.

As State Police officials continued their investigation into the mayor’s actions Thursday, Kilpatrick was ordered to pay 10 percent of the $75,000 bond to avoid jail and submit to random drug testing. Giles also delivered a stern rebuke.

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Investigation moves to AG

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s investigation of Kilpatrick began after pager text messages published in January pointed to a sexual relationship between Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, and possible perjury about the nature of their relationship and circumstances surrounding the removal of Brown when they both testified in a civil case last year.

Giles had been expected to decide whether to release more text messages but indicated he needed more time, and then focused on the mayor’s recent behavior, which assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Moran described as “assaultive.”

The mayor also learned this week prosecutors believe they have evidence linking him to relations with women other than Beatty and his wife. Detective Brian White, who testified he was “tossed” off the porch by the mayor, was the one who tracked down those women.

Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans kicked the investigation of Thursday’s incident to the State Police because of its politically charged nature. Now Attorney General Mike Cox, not the Wayne County prosecutor, will determine whether to charge Kilpatrick because White, who works for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, is assigned to Worthy.

The brouhaha on Thursday began when White, who is the head investigator in the case, and his partner, Investigator JoAnn Kinney, drove by the home of the mayor’s sister and saw a Ford pickup used by Bobby Ferguson’s contracting company. The cops had been in the upscale La Salle Boulevard neighborhood to serve another subpoena in the case and decided, after spotting the truck, to see if they could locate Ferguson, a friend of the mayor.

Court testimony Friday outlined how investigators ran into Kilpatrick at his sister’s house, and the mayor, in some fashion, pushed the lead detective in the case.

“It happened so fast,” Kinney, a retired Detroit homicide cop, recalled under oath. “We were just looking for Bobby Ferguson . . . I couldn’t believe this was happening.”

Officer testifies mayor ‘irate’

As White and Kinney stood on the porch of Ayanna Kilpatrick’s home, they were met at the door by Daniel Ferguson, Ayanna Kilpatrick’s husband, who said he was a relative of Bobby Ferguson. As White began to ask more questions, the melee began.

From inside the house, White testified, the mayor was heard saying “leave my (expletive) family alone,” “get the (expletive) out of here” and instructed other people at the home “don’t tell those (expletive) anything.”

White and Kinney both testified that the mayor also grabbed White.

White, who said doctors told him his hip may be “slightly” fractured due to the incident, testified the mayor shouted at Kinney: “How can a black woman be riding in a car with a man named White?”

Kinney testified: “He was irate.” She also said Kilpatrick, whom she had never met and referred to as “Mr. Mayor,” told her: “You, a black woman, with a man with the last name White. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

White said he is trying to serve subpoenas as part of the case on Kandia Milton, the mayor’s chief of staff, and Brenda Braceful, the former deputy corporation counsel who handled portions of the whistle-blowers trial but has since been disbarred.The mayor’s attorneys said White’s and Kinney’s characterizations, while nearly identical, were wrong.

Bond arrangements change

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The judge said he would allow a previously planned trip to the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where the mayor is a superdelegate, and a family trip.

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The bond revocation has not affected the timeline Gov. Jennifer Granholm has set to decide whether she will remove the mayor, her press secretary Liz Boyd said Friday. “We have a very serious case before us and we’re handling it in a quasi-judicial way.”

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