Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the 38-year old charismatic but scandal-scarred mayor, has packed his boxes at City Hall and pled guilty to two felonies this morning.
The plea deal calls for the following:
- 5-Year Probation
- 120 Days in Jail
- Resignation as Mayor of Detroit
- Pay $1,000,000 fine to the Detroit treasury
Under the city charter, City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel Jr. would be mayor until a special election is held.
Council President Pro Tem Monica Conyers, who received the second-most votes of all council members when she was elected in 2005, would take over as council president. She is the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit.
Under the city charter, City Clerk Janice Winfrey would have 90 days to hold a special election to fill the rest of Kilpatrick's term. The cash-strapped city would have to pay for the election.
The mayor, his wife and three sons live for free in the Manoogian Mansion and have the use of a GM-donated Escalade. The Kilpatricks have no private residence in Detroit.
Kilpatrick was charged with eight felonies and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty with seven felonies related to their testimony at a police whistle-blower trial and their actions in removing deputy chief Gary Brown as head of internal affairs. Kilpatrick was later charged with two more felonies for allegedly shoving two police officers who were attempting to serve a subpoena on a friend of the mayor.
The plea discussions involved only the perjury, obstruction of justice and other felony charges stemming from the text-message scandal. Kilpatrick pleaded 'no contest' to a felony charge for shoving the two police officers. The settlement for this case was based on the agreement shown above.
It's unclear how Kilpatrick would be replaced. Some believe the City Council is required to hold a special election to fill the post. The earliest that could be done would be with a special primary election in February and a special general election in May. But others believe the City Council could skip a special election because of the $3 million cost, and that it would be too close to the regularly scheduled mayoral election in November 2009. In that case, Cockrel would serve out Kilpatrick's remaining term until December 2009.
Most villagers know that I lived in Detroit for a number of years. I'm very sad to see how far this young brother has fallen. However, his resignation is necessary in order for the city to embark on its renaissance. The big winner in this case are Kym Worthy ... the prosecuter that brought the charges against Kilpatrick that led to today's deal.
It is a sad day for Detroit. Tomorrow is the first day of the rebirth. We wish Mayor Cockrel luck in his efforts to lead the rebuilding of Detroit.