DEBORAH AMOS, host:
We step away from our coverage of the presidential campaign to politics on a smaller stage. Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is expected to enter a plea deal on charges of obstruction of justice. The case stemmed from a long running scandal over Kilpatrick's attempt to cover up an extra-marital affair. Joining me now is Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley who's been covering the story. If you could tell us exactly what you know about the basics of the deal
Ms. ROCHELLE RILEY (Columnist, Detroit Free Press): Well, unfortunately, for those of us here in Detroit, with seven months of drama, there would also be drama on the last day. There were two deals, separate deals that were worked out because we're talking about eight felony charges dealing with perjury and obstruction of justice, filed by Wayne County prosecutor, Kym Worthy. And we're dealing with a separate case involving an alleged assault on Sheriff's Deputy and that's two felony charges filed by the state attorney general. And right now, we're expecting for the mayor to start a press conference with his attorneys that's running nearly half an hour late where he is expected to resign and to plead guilty to at least one felony in the county case and to possibly one felony in the state attorney general case.
AMOS: Is he facing jail time?
Ms. RILEY: He is facing jail time and that has been the hold up on over - more than a month's worth of negotiations. He wanted to not go to jail, to repay some of the money that came out of the whistleblower, police officer's trial that he settled to try and keep the text messages that eventually came out a secret. He did not want to go to jail at all and the Wayne County prosecutor insisted that he do some time.
AMOS: Now, the prosecutor has been criticized in some quarters were being over zealous. How does the proceedings today reflect that charge?
Ms. RILEY: Those quarters don't exist here in Detroit except in some neighborhoods and with some of the mayor's supporters. There's overwhelming support for the mayor to resign and there are a number of people who have spoken publicly about the fact that he probably needs to serve some jail time because of the seriousness of the matter and because of the damage to the city. So, we are pretty split here in Detroit.
AMOS: What happens next for the city and the leadership of Detroit?
Ms. RILEY: Well, Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., who is the president of the Detroit City Council, would become the interim mayor based on the city charter, and he would serve as mayor until there's a special election. And the actual election for this office comes next November.
AMOS: And this is a well-received decision, do you think, in the city?
Ms. RILEY: Oh, I think there are mixed reviews on this person as well, but he has shown himself to be professional and authoritative and if he comes in and does a good job, he of course, would like to also be mayor himself and is expected to run next year.
AMOS: Thank you very much.
Ms. RILEY: Thank you.
AMOS: Rochelle Riley is a columnist for the Detroit Free Press. She joined us by phone from her office.