Thursday, January 31, 2008

He can be forgiven but should he stay as Mayor?

Being Detroit, they will forgive him. Being Detroit, they will never learn. Being Detroit, they will continue the slow, and sometimes, not so slow, decay of a once proud and mighty industrial part of America and the arsenall of Democracy.

Note: by they I mean the citizens of Detroit and the surrounding communities. Don't even try to make this a race issue.

From Tenfootman Blog:

"seems like the darling mayor of detroit did it again. now after the reports of dead strippers at the mayor's mansion were silenced, the scandal involving city SUVs being given to his wife subsided, he has come back with perjury. seems that he lied under oath about sleeping with an aide. lying under oath is bad, might cost him his job, the city of detroit a lot more money than the millions already paid out in the settlement of the case where it appears he lied, and his license to practice law. the best part is that he got caught because of text messages. 14,000 text messages detailing his affair which he adamantly denied under oath."

Show him to the door Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Pleads for Forgiveness

DETROIT (AP) - Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness from his family and his constituents Wednesday in an emotional televised speech, his delayed response to recently revealed racy text messages that contradict his sworn testimony that he did not have a physical relationship with a key aide.

"I truly apologize to you," Kilpatrick said, turning to his wife, Carlita, who sat by his side, holding his hand, at their family church.
"I am the mayor. I made the mistake," Kilpatrick told Detroit residents, looking into the camera. "I am accountable."

He did not publicly specify, however, what he was apologizing for, saying legal matters prevented him from doing so.

A prosecutor is investigating whether the mayor and chief of staff Christine Beatty lied under oath during a whistle-blower's lawsuit last summer in which both denied having a physical relationship. A conviction of lying under oath can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment.

Kilpatrick vowed to remain mayor in the carefully orchestrated speech, which aired live in prime time on local television and radio stations.

"Make no mistake about it; since 2002, I have been in charge of the city. There have been ups and downs. There have been hills and mountains and valleys. But through it all, I remain in charge of the city," he said during the speech at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ.

There was no audience and no reporters or photographers, save for the operator of the sole video camera used. Kilpatrick made no mention of the text messages or Beatty.
The mayor closed by saying, "God bless you, Detroit. I love you. I will see you at work tomorrow."

The speech ended a week of seclusion for Kilpatrick since the Detroit Free Press reported on the text messages. His only public response had been a written statement a week ago.

Carlita Kilpatrick also spoke Wednesday, describing the pain her husband had caused, but urging the city to remain committed to him.
"I am angry, hurt and disappointed," she said. "But no question I love my husband."

Kwame Kilpatrick, 37, is in his second term and could run again next year, but the revelation of the text messages from 2002 and 2003 could end his political career.
The messages call into question testimony Kilpatrick and Beatty gave in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs.

In court, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having a physical relationship, but the text messages reveal that they carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their trysts.

Kilpatrick wrote Beatty in 2002: "I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love."
Beatty submitted a letter of resignation Monday, effective Feb. 8.

At a pro-Kilpatrick rally outside the mayor's office a few hours before his speech, supporters held signs reading "Leave Kwame Alone,""Protect the mayor - protect your city" and "Mayor Kilpatrick Progress."

"He is our mayor. We choose to judge this man by his entire character," said the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, pastor of New Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. "What the mayor has done is unexplainable but not unforgivable."

After another crowd gathered a short time later to call for the mayor's resignation, shouts of "resign" were drowned out by retorts of "We love Kwame."
"I feel he should go to jail for lying on the stand. He's embarrassing for everyone," said Joann Jackson, 63, who carried a white T-shirt bearing a depiction of Kilpatrick's face and the words: "JUST QUIT."

Controversy has surrounded Kilpatrick since his 2001 election as mayor.

Embraced by many Detroit residents for his boldness and confidence, Kilpatrick, then 31, embodied the new black politician and wore a diamond stud earring that helped foster his unofficial title as "Hip-Hop Mayor."

His first four years were marred by use of his city-issued credit card for expensive travel, the city's lease of a luxury Lincoln Navigator for his wife and unsubstantiated allegations of a wild party involving his security team and strippers at the mayor's mansion.

At the start of his second term, Kilpatrick vowed to not make the same mistakes and announced a residential redevelopment along Detroit's dormant riverfront, a successful Super Bowl that shone a light on the city's renewal efforts and other improvements.