Detroit mayor , known as the hip-hop mayor, was charged with perjury Monday (March 24) after raunchy text messages leaked earlier this year contradicting sworn testimony that he gave denying that he had an affair with his chief of staff in 2002.
According to the Associated Press, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy brought on the perjury charges, as well as conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct against the popular mayor, and in doing so, delivered a lecture about the importance of telling the truth.
“Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private,” said Worthy. “Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people’s lives were ruined, the justice system severely mocked and the public trust trampled on.”
Kilpatrick’s former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, who also denied under oath that she and the mayor had an intimate relationship in 2002 and 2003, was also charged with some of the same offenses.
Both the mayor and Beatty turned themselves in for booking in the afternoon. No trial date has been set.
The charges stem from text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty published in a January issue of the Detroit Free Press. In those text messages, the married mayor allegedly exchanged racy messages with his former chief of staff, contradicting testimony he gave in 2006, which insisted that the affair was not true.
In one of the messages sent from Kilpatrick to Beatty, the mayor said this: “I’ve been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for three days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love.”
According to NewsDay.com, in April 2002, rumors emerged just months after Kilpatrick’s first term that the mayor had a wild party involving a stripper at the mayoral mansion. During that same time period, Harold Nelthrope (one of the mayor’s bodyguards) reported that the mayor’s personal police posse was running amuck, crashing cars and racking up overtime. Following the accusations, Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown launched an investigation, which may have uncovered Kilpatrick and Beatty’s relationship, but two weeks into his investigation, Brown was fired.
A month later, Brown and Nelthrope both 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.
In the end, the city settled with the officers awarding them nearly $9 million of Detroit taxpayers’ money.
Some of the charges brought forth Monday against the mayor, accuse him of agreeing to the settlement in an effort to keep the text messages from becoming public
Since the controversy has come into the public eye, Kilpatrick has responded saying that his privacy is at stake, as well as his fellow Detroit residents.
“This is not protecting the privacy rights of Kwame Kilpatrick, although I hope I have some,” he told an interviewer on Detroit radio station WMXD-FM (92.3) in February. “This is protecting the privacy rights of all Detroiters.”
As far as the text messages, he called the local paper’s decision to publish the messages a violation of his constitutional rights.
“My constitutional rights were violated at best,” Kilpatrick said. “At worst there are some real serious federal and state laws that were violated.”
All of the charges against the mayor are felonies, which would mean, if convicted, there would be an immediate expulsion of his position as mayor. He also could face up to 15 years behind bars.