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Legal Daily News Feature
Detroit’s Mayor Finally Resigns
By Stony Olsen
It’s been a wild ride for Kwame Kilpatrick, the (now) ex-mayor of Detroit, Michigan. Besieged with scandals, court cases, prosecutions,
and calls for his head, Kilpatrick finally bowed to the inevitable and resigned on Thursday, bringing a tumultuous tenure to an
09/05/08 presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, has had a lurid
and highly public fall from grace.
Along with the resignation, Kilpatrick
pled guilty to two counts of obstruction In short, Kilpatrick lied under oath in an attempt to smear two
of justice and pled no contest to Detroit police officers, resulting in the city of Detroit having to
assaulting or obstructing a public officer. compensate the two men after Kilpatrick’s lies became public.
This all came as part of a plea deal with He also tried to cover up a racy relationship with his then chief
prosecutors. of staff, Christine Beatty. Beatty is also facing charges.
As part of the deal, Kilpatrick will serve Kilpatrick had been hearing calls to resign for months now,
two concurrent four-month sentences at as his guilt became increasingly apparent. Much like what
the Wayne County Jail and also pay the happened with Richard Nixon, the cover-up became worse
city $1 million over the next five years. than the crime and eventually led to Kilpatrick’s downfall.
Kilpatrick also will lose his law license, his pension, and be
ineligible to run for any elected office during that same five- The plea deal was increasingly necessary, as it came under
year period. the wire for Kilpatrick. Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, a
fellow Democrat, had been forced to start proceedings to have
The deal helps bring to close one of the most bizarre stories Kilpatrick removed from office by legal means. And if that had
this year involving a mayor. Kilpatrick had been charged with happened, there likely would have been no plea deal available
ten felony counts, so pleading guilty to two of them saves him at all for the former mayor.
on the other eight.
Kilpatrick has been succeeded as mayor by Ken Cockrel, Jr.,
Kilpatrick, who was once a rising star in the Democratic party head of the city council, until a special interim election can be
and had been praised by none other than current Democrat held.
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