September 4, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick Resigns as Mayor of Detroit


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

Kilpatrick agreed to forfeit his state pension as part of the payment of the fine. Kilpatrick packed up his possessions for the move out of the mayor's office. It appeas that this puts an end to a tragic and historic fall from power.

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.

12 comments:

Cliff Samuels Jr said...

This is just stage one of many other events to happen. We will have more resignations or retirements and lets not forget about the problems with City Counsel and the 400 million dollar deficit of the Detroit Public Schools. I hope this starts a full cleaning of the Detroit system and an awakening of the citizens of my city to take control and make Detroit the place to live. Its been 40 years since the riots and we are still rebuilding. Time to remake this city in less than 10 years.

Eddie G. Griffin said...

I am not surprise that some 40 years after the riots of the Long Hot Summer of '67 that the city is still re-building. It's to same in Newark and other riot-torn places. One of the biggest mistakes make by the brothers during the riots was the assumption that, if you burn it down, somebody will come back and build something better in its place. (From a man who was in Newark during the summer of 1967, during the time of the Kerner Commission)

Villager said...

Cliff - I imagine that the good thing is that there is only one direction to go -- UP! Many people in Detroit will need to step up their game. You point out some hardships ... but, Kirkpatrick did bring some corporate big boys into the downtown area. They have too much invested to let it get worse. Anyhow, this is definitely a watershed moment.

Eddie - Newark has a mayor in jail also. That is not a good sign...

teamowens313 said...

Hey Villager,

As you said, this is a watershed moment. But is definitely not cause for celebration. As Cliff Samuels pointed out, there is tremendous work that needs to be done, and that doesn't even include cleaning up after Kilpatrick. For those of us who live and work in Detroit, this is extraordinarily painful. And it will be painful for a long time to come.

Check out my post on this issue when you get a chance.

Iya said...

Now maybe my hometown can get on and be encouraged by some positive press.

Kym Worthy is some kinda lawyer. I remember her from the Malice Green case! Dynamic!!

iriegal said...

I don't get it. The world is your oyster. You have power, prestige, the ability to become a great leader...and you blow it!

I wish the new leadership in Detroit well. The people of Detroit need a "fair shake"

They need to stop getting "Screwed" by politicians that are self serving.

Villager said...

Keith - I did visit your blog and read your post. It was on point and I feel your pain. As an aside, I hope that you & Cliff hook up. Are there other nubian bloggers in Detroit?

Iya - I see that others in the Kilpatrick administration are now tendering their resignations. The Black woman who was Detroit Police Chief resigned. Kwame's press person (Sharon McPhail) resigned. I wonder what will happen with Christine Beatty (the 'other woman' and his former assistant?

IrieGal - refer to what the Bible says about 'Pride'. That is what caused the Hip-Hop Mayor to think that his shyt didn't stink. I've faced that same problem in the past (sigh). It impacted on Bill Clinton. I pray that Michelle and others will keep Barack Obama from going there in his future...

That Girl Boo said...

I'm not surprised this happened, maybe this will allow someone with more positive energy into a roll to help the city of Detroit, and not just provide lip service.

Villager said...

Boo - We miss you young sista! I agree that Detroit needs to find some heros in the coming weeks and months...

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Breeding good leadership goes beyond racial and cultural upbringing. It is a spiritual gift. If the goodness on the inside don't amount to a hill of beans, why would the man be any better? When searching out leaders, we need to look deeper.

Villager said...

Eddie - All infants begin with goodness inside. Their cultural upbringing and home training and other inputs into their minds and souls determines if they will be servant-leaders or jerks...

I guess I'm saying that leadership is something that can be taught ... it doesn't have to be born into you.

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Breeding leaders is like breeding championship caliber horses, in a sense. You put the best into them, including spiritual teachings, instructions in moral behavior and indoctrination with the highest social values. Then you pray they don't forget their upbringing or lose their bearing... Basically, we are saying the same thing, except that I might add spiritual teachings in the mix.