NPR logo Detroit Mayor's Racy Texts Lead to Perjury Charges


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.

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From NPR reports and The Associated Press