|Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick suffered two major setbacks Tuesday in his battle to contain a growing text message scandal that already has placed him under criminal investigation.|
Tuesday morning, a Wayne County judge ordered the release of secret documents that confirm a concerted effort to hide the mayor's text messages in a lawsuit settlement. The judge even raised the prospect that the settlement amounted to criminal fraud.
Later Tuesday, City Council members expressed dismay that they had approved the $8.4-million lawsuit payout without being told of the secret settlement pact. They then voted 7-1 to order a financial investigation into the mayor's office and the city Law Department.
The latest developments came as new information revealed more about the role Kilpatrick and his advisers played in burying the text messages within the settlement of police whistle-blower lawsuits.
The day began with Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr. unsealing records that the city repeatedly had said did not exist, but now argues should remain private. Colombo released them because of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Detroit Free Press.
Colombo said the documents must be released because they are part of a lawsuit settled with public funds. But he also cited case law that allows for confidential documents to be made public if they may shield evidence of a crime.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Kwame Kilpatrick text message scandal gets even worse.
Politics: A whole lotta worse, talking fraud, secret settlements, taxpayers being fleeced. DEEEEEETROITTT POLIIIITICS!