Saturday, August 23, 2008

Detroit's Mayor Rejects a Plea Bargain

Detroit's mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, has been engulfed in a number of legal battles this year stemming from revelations that he sent text messages from a city owned pager that demonstrated he was engaged in an extramarital affair with his chief of staff. The messages were important because they contradicted testimony the mayor had offered during a previous civil case in which Detroit police officers alleged they were terminated to prevent the affair from being uncovered. The text messages have led to Kilpatrick being indicted on eight felony counts, including perjury and misconduct.

Kilpatrick's legal problems did not end there, however, as he is also alleged to have assaulted two police officers who were attempting to serve a subpoena related to the perjury case on one of his friends. The New York Times is reporting that Kilpatrick turned down a plea deal in the assault case on Friday. The plea offer Kilpatrick rejected would have required him to resign in exchange for the Michigan Attorney General's Office dropping one of the two felony assault charges.

A spokesman for his defense team, Marcus Reese, said Mr. Kilpatrick rejected the plea deal because it was politically motivated and insincere. Mr. Reese called the case “weak and frivolous.”

“The attorney general is clearly concerned that the mayor’s legal team has begun to seriously hurt his credibility as it relates to this case, and is worried his time as political grandstander may be waning,” Mr. Reese said in a statement. “This so-called offer was made by someone who has no authority to request such a thing and was done purely to score points in front of the cameras.”

A spokesman for the prosecutor, Rusty Hills, rejected that contention. “It is a very genuine offer based on very genuine charges that we intend to prove in court if we go forward with our case,” Mr. Hills said.

At a bond hearing set for Monday, a judge is to decide whether Mr. Kilpatrick will have to continue to wear an electronically monitored tether and remain under travel restrictions.

No comments: