Meet the (Free) Press, Kwame Kilpatrick: Embattled Detroit Mayor Faces Questioning, City's Costs Mount
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, whose carpet-bombing of the "n" word on prime time TV exploded his legal problems across the Detroit area, is now on the hot seat with the Detroit Free Press. In one of the most canny moves I've seen recently, the newspaper has been able to compel Kilpatrick to answer questions about his scandalous term, arrest, and felony charges.
Meanwhile, most of Detroit just wants him to resign, something Kilpatrick refuses to do. He's so unpopular that he was booed after giving away free beer at a Detroit Red Wings rally.
Now, that's unpopular.
I've written about Kilpatrick's strange war with his own city, and apparently, with himself. In essence, this is a Greek tragedy set in a major American city beset by economic and social woes as its major industries fail.
A lawyer for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick agreed Friday to allow the mayor to be questioned under oath in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Free Press, as it seeks documents in connection with the city's $8.4-million settlement of police whistle-blower suits that spawned the text message scandal.
It is a major initiative that everyone agrees needs to happen -- expansion of Cobo Center to ensure the continued viability of the North American International Auto Show.
But like so many other matters pressing on the region -- from the potential sale of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, to a bond issue to erect buildings while knocking down others, to a standoff between the City Council and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick -- the text message scandal that has engulfed the mayor since Jan. 23 has crippled the delicate Cobo negotiations.
"The energy just isn't there to get this done," Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano said of Kilpatrick's inability to focus on Cobo. "Obviously, it's just been tremendously more challenging. ... It's only human nature if you're being shot at from one angle ... the energy is on trying to survive."
....The mayor's perjury and assault criminal cases, along with a federal investigation that sources say is scrutinizing the mayor, his father, some council members and others, have left Kilpatrick spending hours in court, meeting with lawyers and, in one instance, in jail as Detroit confronts persistent problems with finances and service delivery.