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Kilpatrick administration officials face contempt hearing
DETROIT The city's top lawyer and its deputy director of human resources have been ordered to appear in court Monday to say why they should not be held in contempt for apparently failing to cooperate with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's investigation of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy M. Rep.
The order capped a day in which the mayor huddled with top advisors and suffered another blow in his and the city's attempt to prevent the widespread public Billig Generisk Cialis release of the text messages that prompted Worthy's investigation. In a morning court hearing, a judge rejected his argument that text messages between him and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, should be private.
Worthy is investigating whether Kilpatrick and Beatty committed perjury during a trial in August regarding a claim by two police officers that they were sacked for investigating claims of misconduct in the mayor's executive protection unit. The whistleblowers, who won the trial and later won an $8.4 million settlement from the city, said they were fired so that they wouldn't discover the existence of an affair between Kilpatrick and Beatty.
The order that requested Johnson and Peoples to appear in court was taped to the human resources department door on the third floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Friday. It does not detail why both officials are being asked to appear in court but the order says it is regarding "possible perjury of Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty." Although it had long been speculated by the media and legal analysts, it marks the first public confirmation from Worthy's office that it is exploring perjury charges.
Lawyer James W. Burdick was hired to represent the city to acquire, organize and deliver documents sought by Worthy's investigators. He said he has produced "Buy Cheap Jintropin Online" thousands of documents during the investigation and said he has not received any court order directing Johnson or Peoples to do anything.
"I would know if there was an investigative subpoena or any other kind of subpoena saying 'John Johnson do this.' I would know. That's why I was hired. It would have Cialis 10 Mg Goedkoop come to me."
He said Peoples' name never surfaced during the investigation until Wednesday.
"I can't tell you (why). It's part of a sealed record," Burdick said. "I gave that information to the prosecution. It's not because of something they discovered."
In 2003, Peoples was paid $120,000 a year helping to recruit and select mayoral appointees.
Worthy spokeswoman Maria Miller declined to talk about the order. Calls to Johnson and Peoples weren't returned.
Earlier on Friday, Kilpatrick attended a meeting with about 80 department directors and deputy directors at Cobo Center to discuss what an aide said were routine questions related to city business.
Mayoral spokesman James Canning said the meetings are regularly scheduled at large facilities that can accommodate such a large crowd.
Friday morning, Wayne County Judge Robert Colombo Jr. said he intends to release select text messages from Beatty from 2002 and 2003, after reviewing their content. He said he will only release messages related to a romantic relationship between Kilpatrick and Beatty and messages about the firing of ex Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, one of three ex cops who filed whistle blower lawsuits and later settled with the city.
Colombo made the rulings in the Freedom of Information Act case against the city by The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press aimed at releasing details of the secret deal to which Kilpatrick agreed to shield text messages from public disclosure.
"This is performing an official function, in my opinion, and therefore would have to be disclosed," Colombo said in explaining why he considers the text messages public.
The text messages from 2002 and 2003 contradict sworn testimony given by Kilpatrick and Beatty at the whistle blower trial against the city last summer, when both said they did not have an affair or discuss Brown's firing.
Colombo could soon release more recent text messages, as well. The newspapers also are trying to get Kilpatrick's text messages from Aug. 1, 2007 through Jan. 28, 2008 that have anything to do with the whistle blower lawsuit. Colombo on Friday agreed to take testimony from two city employees to determine what type of communications equipment Kilpatrick and Beatty used during that time period and whether the city was paying the bill.
In addition Friday, Colombo:
Ordered attorneys in the whistle blower cases to produce a proposed motion that included portions of the messages and which was crafted by the police officers' attorney, Michael Stefani. Kilpatrick dropped an appeal of a jury's verdict in one of the whistle blower lawsuits after the city's outside attorney, Sam McCargo, saw the motion. Stefani and city attorneys McCargo and Wilson Copeland, along with Kilpatrick's personal attorney Bill Mitchell, must produce the motion.
The judge also said if the four attorneys had the motion at some point, but don't currently have it, they have to tell the court what happened to it.
Allowed the Detroit City Council to intervene in a lawsuit brought by newspapers. But he denied the council's motion in a separate case to enforce a City Council issued subpoena for communications company SkyTel to produce Kilpatrick's and Beatty's text messages. Colombo questioned whether the council has subpoena powers.
Ordered Stefani to give him all the e mail correspondence he had with city attorneys regarding the whistle blower cases.
It's not clear how soon Colombo would release the text messages for the periods of Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, 2002 and April 1 through May 31, 2003 or the Stefani motion. Before releasing the messages, Colombo said he would allow attorneys for the city to review the material and make arguments on whether certain portions should be public.
Details of the text messages' existence and a secret deal signed Buy Cialis Switzerland by Kilpatrick to keep them shielded were withheld from City Council members when they "Anabolika Definition" approved a settlement. But Equipoise Bloat The News reported this week that records show that taxpayer dollars were spent on private attorneys to research and Deca Durabolin Organon set up a safe deposit box that eventually was used as the depository for the roughly 14,000 text messages that are at the vortex of the scandal. City officials say the billing was an error.
William Liedel, an attorney for the city, argued that the texts are private, in part because they are different from other documents and emails since they are not retained in the city's electronic system. But newspaper attorneys argued that Kilpatrick, early Bolt 200m in his first term, signed a directive to his staff that "all electronic communications" sent on city equipment should be considered public.
Liedel said that city policy doesn't apply to the SkyTel pages because they were not a part of the city's electronic system.