Kwame Kilpatrick

Your testimony in this court amounted to perjury. Most compelling is that you lied to this court, continued to lie, after you pleaded guilty to lying.

Judge David Groner, sentencing former Detroit Mayor (and Lawyer of the Day) Kwame Kilpatrick to 18 months to 5 years in prison for violating probation.

Kwame%20Kilpatrick%20Mayor%20Kwame%20M%20Kilpatrick%20Above%20the%20Law%20blog.jpgSay one thing for former Detroit Mayor — and former ATL Lawyer of the Day — Kwame Kilpatrick: he’s got balls. I’m not talking about his sexual prowess, preserved in steamy text messages. I’m talking about the kind of testicular fortitude it takes to make the following argument to a Michigan Court. The Detroit Free Press reports (gavel bang: ABA Journal):

Kwame Kilpatrick is living large because, his lawyer says, he has to. …
Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner will arraign Kilpatrick for failing to pay $79,011 toward the $1 million he owes in restitution by last Friday’s deadline. Kilpatrick and his lawyers say he doesn’t have the money, despite his plush lifestyle in a tony Dallas suburb and $120,000-a-year sales job for Covisint, a Compuware subsidiary.
“The clientele he must establish a rapport with are likely to be the privileged and the affluent,” [Kilpatrick's lawyer Daniel Hajji] said in the motion. “Burgers and beer at the local bar is not going to be sufficient.”

See, I think there is a coherent argument to be made that you shouldn’t be forced to pay nearly $80,000 on a $120,000 (pre-tax, I’m assuming) salary. But “establish[ing] a rapport” is certainly not one of them.
Still, Kilpatrick and his lawyer press the point, after the jump.

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Wood_Sheryl_LR.jpgSo it appears that Detroit’s ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was carrying on other text-based affairs. His exchange of over 14,000 steamy, adulterous texts with his chief of staff made headlines last year. Now, it’s been revealed that he exchanged some inappropriate SMSes with another woman: Sheryl Robinson Wood
At the time, Wood was at Kroll, a New York-based risk assessment firm, and had been appointed to monitor Detroit’s Police Department reforms. Now, she’s a partner at Venable in the firm’s Baltimore office.
From the Detroit Free Press:

Saul Green, Detroit’s group executive of public safety, briefed the media after a closed meeting with Detroit City Council after shocking revelations that Sheryl Robinson Wood, who resigned as monitor last week, had a relationship with Kilpatrick.
Green said the Justice Department turned over text messages from fall of 2003 through January 2005 that show Kilpatrick and Wood met in Detroit, Washington and other cities.
“They showed contacts between the monitor and the former mayor that were inappropriate and also an exchange of information related to the litigation,” Green said. “It was a personal relationship in which they met, in which they went to dinner… not in an official time or context.”

There’s nothing better than a little litigation information exchange over drinks.
Wood resigned from the monitor position, but trouble looms for her. One tipster points out that a judge recently slammed the police department reforms as “grossly inadequate.” The monitoring of those grossly inadequate reforms cost Detroit over $13 million. Now the Justice Department is considering a criminal investigation of Sheryl Robinson Wood.

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Kwame Kilpatrick Mayor Kwame M Kilpatrick Above the Law blog.jpgSadly, I don’t own a Kevlar vest. If I did, I would be coming to you live from Detroit today, because it appears that today is the day that they finally remove Kwame Kilpatrick’s feeding tube.
Mayor Kilpatrick has become an embarrassment to his city, a nearly impossible task given that he represents Detroit. Kilpatrick had an affair with his chief-of-staff, lied about it under oath, and allegedly paid off a police officer to keep it quiet. If Michigan could beat Utah, perhaps Kilpatrick could have flown under the radar, but in this charged political climate the mere appearance of gross incompetence and corruption is enough to get a man in trouble.
The fact that Kilpatrick has held onto his job for this long is a testament to the people of Detroit and their utter hopelessness.
At 10:00 a.m. eastern time, Judge Robert Ziolkowski will rule on whether Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm has the authority to fire the embattled mayor. That ruling should set up a very interesting 2:00 p.m. hearing on the mayor’s sexual perjury case. Reports are flying that Kilpatrick will take a deal prior to the latter hearing, in order to avoid jail time.
Most observers believe that Granholm does have the authority to remove Kilpatrick from office under established principles of Michigan law. Kilpatrick’s main defense appears to be that he doesn’t have time to mount a credible defense. The man is busy trying to stay out of jail, how can he possibly focus on serving the citizens of Detroit?
Complicating Kilpatrick’s defense are five lawyers that Kilpatrick wanted to testify on his behalf. They will not, apparently because they enjoy being lawyers and are afraid of losing their law licenses by associating in any way with Kilpatrick.
Granholm has already scheduled an ouster hearing for Wednesday.
Hearings loom as plea talks stumble [Detroit News]
Stakes high today in Kilpatrick legal drama [Detroit Free Press]
Earlier: Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Indicted

Kwame Kilpatrick Mayor Kwame M Kilpatrick Above the Law blog.jpgFor some of Lawyers of the Day, things eventually get better. For others, however, they only get worse.
For Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his law-student lov-ah, Christine Beatty, they’ve gotten worse. From the AP:

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit’s youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

Former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, 37, who also denied under oath that she and Kilpatrick had a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

The evidence against Mayor Kilpatrick and Ms. Beatty is extensive. It’s not just a handful of cryptic text messages that are equally consistent with innocent activity (e.g., “where r u”). Rather, we’re talking about almost 14,000 texts, many of them sexually explicit. mr mayor, u r fckd. ttyl.
Or maybe not? Mayor Kilpatrick does have some top-flight counsel. He’s represented by superstar litigator Dan Webb, a former U.S. Attorney for Chicago with over 100 jury trials under his belt, who now serves as chairman of Winston & Strawn. If anyone can get Kilpatrick out of this mess, it’s Webb.
(But Webb can’t work miracles. He was unsuccessful in defending another prominent politician, former Illinois Governor George Ryan, against various federal corruption charges. Governor Ryan was convicted at trial, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed on appeal.)
Detroit Mayor Charged With Perjury [AP]
Detroit Mayor Charged in Scandal [New York Times]
Earlier: Lawyer and Law Student of the Day: Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty

Barack Obama small Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.JPG* Collected coverage of yesterday’s Supreme Court oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Second Amendment case concerning D.C. gun control. [SCOTUSblog (linkwrap); How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* NJ prosecutors subpoena records from JuicyCampus.com (think AutoAdmit for college students). [AP]
* An update on former Lawyer of the Day Kwame Kilpatrick: the Detroit City Council wants him to resign as mayor, but he’s vowing not to leave. [New York Times]
* Olympic gold-medal hottie who had “close personal relationship” with New York’s latest Luv Guv, David Paterson, says he helped her land a government job. [New York Post via Drudge]
* The full transcript of yesterday’s speech by Barack Obama on race. [Washington Post]

Kwame Kilpatrick Mayor Kwame M Kilpatrick Above the Law blog.jpgThe great state of Michigan, recent host to presidential primaries, is also the home of our Lawyer of the Day. A correspondent writes:

The mayor of Detroit was sexing up his chief of staff, who just happened to be a Wayne State Law Student. The mayor happens to be married with three kids. They may have perjured themselves.

No, not the kids — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his lover. From the Detroit Free Press:

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship last summer at a police whistle-blower trial that has cost the cash-strapped city more than $9 million, according to records obtained by the Free Press.

The false testimony potentially exposes them to felony perjury charges, legal experts say.

Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the records, a series of text messages, show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons.

Dirty details, below the fold.

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