By ED WHITE and COREY WILLIAMS
The historic session called by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, under her constitutional authority to remove elected officials for misconduct, came a day after Kilpatrick's lawyers failed to persuade courts to block the hearing. They filed an appeal Wednesday with the Michigan Supreme Court, but there was no response from the justices.
Members of the public lined up as early as sunrise to attend the hearing in a state office building. Only 18 were admitted.
City Council says it was misled when it approved an $8.4 million settlement last year with fired police officers. Council members say they didn't know the deal carried secret provisions to keep a lid on text messages between Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty, who was his chief of staff, on city-issued pagers.
"It was settled to cover up the truth. It was fast and it was rushed," he said.
"These are not minor transgressions, Governor Granholm. They have brought this city to a grinding halt," Goodman said.
"Be assured this city has not been killed yet, but it is gravely wounded and the mayor must be removed," he said.
"What you will be left with is this: Are you willing to twist these impermissible inferences in an Olympic effort to contort the truth to please the political forces that underlie this effort to remove the mayor?" McPhail asked.
She said it was city lawyers who settled the case with former police officers, not the mayor.
"It's too stupid to be plausible" that Kilpatrick came up with a secret pact to cover up embarrassing text messages, McPhail said.
Granholm has pared the case to two issues: Did Kilpatrick settle the lawsuits for personal gain because he feared release of the text messages? Did the mayor conceal information from the City Council?
Hammer said the settlement with former police officers appeared to have been chopped up into three different parts, including a confidentiality agreement. "This whole confidentiality is for private purposes," he said in support of the council's assertion.
They are accused of lying during the 2007 whistle-blowers' trial about having an extramarital affair and their roles in the firing of a deputy police chief.