Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (C) appears in Wayne County Circuit Court for his sentencing October 28, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan. Kilpatrick will spend 4 months in jail as part of a plea deal he accepted back in September in which he plead guilty to two felonies and no contest to a felony assault charge. (Getty Images)more pics »The reign of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick will be recorded in infamy as one of the most scandalous time periods in the city's history.
Murdered stripper Tamara Greene
From 2002 to 2008, Kilpatrick's tenure as mayor was fraught with allegations of conspiracy, perjury, obstruction of justice, marital infidelity, abuse of power, nepitism, assaulting a police officer, and even murder. But Kwame was ultimately undone by a slew of text messages that proved both a sexual affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, and a conspiracy to cover up his reasons for firing police officers who were investigating him.
It all started in September, 2002, when Kilpatrick is rumored to have held a party at Manoogian Mansion, the official residence of the mayor of Detroit. Kilpatrick was allegedly partying with members of his security detail and several strippers when his wife, Clarita, came home, flew into a rage and attacked Tamara Greene, a 27-year-old exotic dancer.
Kwame Kilpatrick's chief of staff and mistress Christine Beatty in court, March, 2008.
Greene was later murdered April 30, 2003, in what appeared to be a professional hit, while she was sitting in a car with her boyfriend. He escaped with only minor wounds.
In 2003, Detroit cop and former Kilpatrick bodyguard Harold Nelthrope and Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown both lost their jobs. The pair sued Kilpatrick and the city, claiming that they were fired for investigating the Manoogian Mansion party and the death of Tamara Greene. The pair allege that part of why Kilpatrick took actions to impede their investigation was to keep his affair with Christine Beatty a secret.
The case didn't go to trial until 2007. Kilpatrick and Beatty both denied the affair and the allegations that they had fired Brown, claiming that the officer was "unappointed."
The jury ruled against Kilpatrick, awarding the former officers $6.5 million. Kilpatrick vowed to appeal the ruling, but instead ended up paying $8.4 million to Brown and Nelthrope after he was made aware of new evidence that would prove he and Beatty had committed perjury. Of course, the city of Detroit picked up that tab.
Kwame Kilpatrick with wife Clarita Kilpatrick. (Getty Images)
At this point the Detroit Free Press sued for settlement-related materials under the Freedom of Information Act, eventually acquiring a collection of text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty. The text messages proved that Kilpatrick had both perjured himself during his previous trial, and that he had obstructed justice by unduly firing Brown for investigating him.
On March 24, 2008, an indictment charged Kilpatrick with 8 felonies, and Beatty with 7. Despite the loud public and political cries for his resignation, Kilpatrick held out for as long as he could. He finally resigned September 4, 2008, the same day he pleaded guilty to 2 felony counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to assaulting a Wayne County Sheriffs Deputy.
Kilpatrick was sentenced to 120 days in jail, and 5 years probation, during which time he is not allowed to run for public office. He was also ordered to give up his license to practice law, and pay $1 million in fines to the city of Detroit. He served 99 days of his sentence and soon after his February 3, 2009, release, he was hired by Detroit company Covisint.
One can only hope his political days are behind him.
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