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Detroit Braces for 'Roller Coaster' Kilpatrick Case

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Detroit Braces for 'Roller Coaster' Kilpatrick Case

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Detroit Braces for 'Roller Coaster' Kilpatrick Case

Detroit Braces for 'Roller Coaster' Kilpatrick Case

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

The mayor of Detroit will learn today whether he'll face perjury or other related charges. A county prosecutor began investigating Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick after the publication of racy text messages allegedly written between him and his former chief of staff. The messages indicate the two may have lied on the witness stand about an affair.

Detroit Public Radio's Noah Ovshinsky reports.

NOAH OVSHINSKY: The controversy that some have dubbed Text Gate has dominated water cooler conversation in Michigan for months. It's clear that Detroit's political establishment is going through something of a constitutional crisis.

Unidentified Man: Madam Clerk, please call the role.

Detroit Mayor's Racy Texts Lead to Perjury Charges

Renee Montagne talks with Detroit Public Radio's Noah Ovshinsky on 'Morning Edition'

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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was charged Monday with perjury after prosecutors said he sent sexually explicit text messages that appear to contradict his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged Kilpatrick with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

Kilpatrick's former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, 37, who denied that she and the mayor had a romantic relationship in 2002 and '03, also was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.

The eight-count criminal indictment, announced Monday by Worthy, includes six felonies. A perjury conviction could bring up to 15 years' imprisonment and could force Kilpatrick to relinquish the mayor's office.

"This case was about as far from being a private matter as one can get. Honesty and integrity in the justice system is everything. That is what this case is about," Worthy said at a news conference.

Speaking later, Kilpatrick said he looked forward to "complete exoneration once all the facts have been brought forth."

"I will remain focused on moving this city forward," he said.

The cell phone text messages allegedly sent by Kilpatrick, 37, a one-time rising star and Detroit's youngest elected leader, contradict statements he and Beatty gave under oath during a whistleblower trial last summer when each denied a romantic relationship.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press