Politics & Society

The Kilpatrick Indictment

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

A booking photo released by the Wayne County Sheriff's Department (taken March 24, 2008) shows Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after being recently charged with multiple felony counts, including perjury. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP
Singer Ricardo Lemvo with NPRers

Singer Ricardo Lemvo (second from right) pauses for a photo with TMM Intern Tyrone Martin (left), Producer Teshima Walker and NPR Newscasts Producer Trina Williams. Jon Palmer Claridge hide caption

itoggle caption Jon Palmer Claridge

We were preparing for our editorial meeting yesterday when the televisions in our work area (usually muted) began flashing with news that felony charges were being filed against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in connection with his testimony in a lawsuit filed by two former city employees.

For whatever reason, this does not surprise me; it just seemed the writing was on the wall. Nevertheless, I have to admit it was shocking. I can't say exactly why, but it was shocking to hear Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy reciting a list of eight charges against Kilpatrick, and seven against his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.

Later, just as we were preparing to hear from Mayor Kilpatrick and Dan Webb, his attorney, the cable goes out! (YIKES, YIKES, YIKES!) So, I shoot off an "news all-staff" e-mail asking, what do I do? ... Whose TV is working?

(Of course, some smarty pants had to ask me why I'm not satisfied with audio. Excuse me; I came from television, okay?)

Thankfully, one of our engineers directed me to streaming video online offered by one of Detroit's local news stations, which turned out to be the best possible doption (thanks, Dennis!). Not only did they carry the press conference live, but they stayed with the story long enough to hear reaction from Detroit voters, something the national outlets were not going to do.

Sadly, it was deja vu.

I remember being in Washington when former Mayor Marion Barry was captured on videotape in a sting operation with a onetime girlfriend. I don't remember the exact details, but I do remember crack was involved. I also remember the complicated feelings ...

As a citizen: shock, anger, embarrassment, outrage (not always sure at whom; the partisans emerge to defend the prosecution, and the defendant). As a journalist: you're thinking, what an incredible story? ... What happens now?

Anyway, been there, done that ... which is maybe why there was no question about whether we would pursue this story for today's program. We were happy to get Kilpatrick's attorney to talk to us about defending the mayor (he made it clear he will not be doing many interviews). And, for a fuller picture, we heard from Washington, D.C., attorney Stanley Brand.

And, the Mochas on kids and lying. It just so happened that we planned the conversation for today. Total coincidence, really.

Finally, we were glad to bring you the story — and music — of singer Ricardo Lemvo. Check out the photo (above) of Lemvo, pictured with TMM Senior Supervising Producer Teshima Walker and Intern Tyrone Martin.

I guess I'm lucky Teshima and Tyrone came back to work, huh? As much fun as they were having ...

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