Yes, one of my favorite things about Michigan is coming back around again. This time its the corruption of the city mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. In the fine tradition of Coleman Young, who himself was the subject of rumors of scandal and won his elections by a larger margin while under FBI investigation for alleged kickbacks, Kwame is feeling the heat.
Kwame's posse used to include most of his high school buddies from Cass Tech High. In fact, his former bodyguards used to be friends of his from the football team. I'm sure their past high school heroics fully qualified them to be bodyguards. But they're not bodyguards anymore after they sued the city when they were disciplined. Okay, this is more complicated than picking out the right Grohe faucets for the new bathroom. Hang on tight, kids.
After Kwame got elected, he held a big party in the Mayor's Mansion. Allegedly it was a really, really great party. Until the Honorable Kwame's wife showed up and bitch slapped the stripper. That was probably the end of the festivities. The mayors bodyguards took off in a cop car and because they had been drinking, had a bit of an accident. Things got really complicated when they told city maintenance folks to fix the car, bill the city and keep their pieholes shut.
Understandably, this resulted in a misconduct investigation. Because the mayor wasn't exactly squeaky clean himself, he didn't exactly want these cats to shoot their mouths off. They were quietly disciplined but it must have been too much for them because they filed a whistleblower suit against the city of Detroit (who is in no financial difficulties whatsoever) and won a 6.5 million dollar judgment. Thanks to interest that's now over 8 million that the City has agreed to pay.
It's also good to note that Kwame has been re-elected while this was all going on. There were also allegations that Kwame ran up very expensive restaurant and club bills while out of town on business (while he was also paying these same bodyguards overtime) and that he liked to stay out very late on "business" while in some cities. Because he was secretly arranging liasons while he was out of town, you can understand why he likes to travel. During the election, Special K painted himself as a strong family man and made sure to have his stripper-slapping wife by his side for all the photo ops.
Unfortunately, during the testimony, K testified that he and his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, were not having an illicit affair and that the bodyguards were not being disciplined because they knew anything about it. Ooops. Good thing they don't play baseball. Can't recall the exact word for it, but I think it's a no no. Oh, perjury, that's what it's called.
Turns out the K-man and his Staff Polisher have traded over 14,000 text messages. Some of the highlights: "I'm madly in love with you," thumbed Kwame. "I hope you feel that way for a long time," Beatty replied to the mayor. "In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!"
Sounds like strictly business to me. After all it is a city-issued pager he's using. You can get all the gory details here. Great job by the Detroit News for getting the texts after their own legal battle with the city to get the records. Read their timeline, they do a much better job of this than I do.
There is some good news for the hopefully soon to be ex-mayor, married couples who fight live longer. Kwame and his Wife should be together a long, long time. Or maybe it's just going to seem that way for him.