Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A real mess

Get rid of him. Things are bad enough in Detroit without having a Mayor like this.

Expect charges of racism if the Governor does remove him.

DETROIT (AP) -- Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has failed to stop Gov. Jennifer Granholm from moving ahead with an extraordinary public hearing that could cost him his job in a scandal over steamy text messages and millions of tax dollars.
Kilpatrick's lawyers struck out with pleas to a Wayne County judge and the Michigan Court of Appeals, clearing the way for Granholm to begin hearing evidence Wednesday about the mayor's role in a $8.4 million settlement with fired police officers who sued the city.

The City Council says it approved the deal last year without knowing that it 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.

Michigan governors have the constitutional authority to remove elected officials for misconduct, but the target never has been the leader of the state's largest city.
Granholm, a fellow Democrat, has pared the case to two issues: Did Kilpatrick settle the lawsuits for personal gain because he feared release of the text messages? And did the mayor conceal information from the City Council?

The council's attorney, William Goodman, is promising to present a "robust and interesting" case to the governor. "Stay tuned," he told reporters.

It's not known whether the mayor will testify or even attend. Kilpatrick attorney James Thomas said the removal process seems stacked against the accused.
"The way this is set up, the governor has free rein to be the judge, jury and executioner," he said after the first of two court challenges was rejected Tuesday.

Kilpatrick's legal team has criticized Granholm, claiming her opinion on the mayor's future is clouded by her role in trying to broker a settlement in his criminal case in May. Resignation apparently was on the table.