Detroit’s hip-hop mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, recently took to the offense in his alleged sex scandal, saying that not only is his privacy rights at stake, but also the people of Detroit as well.
The mayor went on several urban radio stations in the Detroit area where he went on damage control. According to the Detroit News, he criticized the local courts and insisted the city’s fight to keep secret certain records related to the settlement of police whistle-blower lawsuits is about principle, not politics.
“This is not protecting the privacy rights of Kwame Kilpatrick, although I hope I have some,” he told the interviewer on WMXD-FM (92.3). “This is protecting the privacy rights of all Detroiters.”
As an investigation as to whether he lied about having a secret relationship with his chief of staff Christine Beatty — which came to light last month when the Detroit Free Press published alleged text messages between the couple — is underway, Kilpatrick says the media haven’t represented his views fairly.
Furthermore, he said the scandal was meritless and said he keeps his faith in God in the entire situation, saying that he, himself, is to blame.
“I allowed this to happen,” he said in 10-minute TV apology to the city on Jan. 30.
“I made some incredibly bad decisions on a lot of different levels,” he told WHTD-FM (102.7).
In August 2007, both Kilpatrick and Beatty testified that they did not have an affair and that Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown was fired after he launched an investigation into alleged corruption by the mayor that may have revealed their secret relationship.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is investigating whether Kilpatrick and Beatty should be charged with perjury or other crimes.
Brown and Nelthrope had previously filed a lawsuit against Kilpatrick and the city of Detroit, which went to trial in the summer of 2006. Under oath, the mayor and his alleged mistress denied any relationship. At the end, the city settled with the plaintiffs for $9 million of Detroit taxpayers’ money.
The city, Kilpatrick said, is fighting to protect the secrecy of the lawsuit and to prevent personal records from being obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.
The mayor had previously promised to appeal the Brown-Nelthrope verdict, but later changed his mind and agreed to settle the day after lawyer Michael Stefani notified a Kilpatrick attorney he had the text messages.
However, the mayor said he believes the jury’s verdict was wrong, and raised the issue of the make-up of the Wayne County jury: mostly white and suburban.
“There are some serious questions about how that court is run, about how Detroiters get justice at that court,” Kilpatrick said.
Despite claiming possible racism, the cops who filed the suit — Nelthrope and Brown — are African-Americans.
As far as the text messages released by the Detroit Free Press, Kilpatrick is claiming that his rights were violated when they ran them and he is exploring legal action.
“My constitutional rights were violated at best,” Kilpatrick said. “At worst there are some real serious federal and state laws that were violated.”