Detroit Council Eyes Ouster of Mayor Kilpatrick
NOAH ADAMS, Host:
Today in Detroit, the city council voted to take the first step toward removing its mayor. Kwame Kilpatrick had been a political star until controversy set in. Sarah Hulett of Michigan Radio reports.
SARAH HULETT: Unidentified Female #1: Council member Martha Reeves(ph).
MARTHA REEVES: Unidentified Female #1: Council member Alberta Chinsley Lobby(ph).
ALBERTA CHINSLEY LOBBY: No, and the...
HULETT: Council members believe that Kilpatrick misled them into approving a multimillion dollar legal settlement with three ex-police officers. They say they were not told that the deal included a provision to keep the mayor's embarrassing text messages from becoming public. Those messages appear to show that the mayor and his former chief of staff had a romantic affair that they both denied under oath. Valerie Berez(ph) represent a block club on the west side of the city. She's come to several city council meetings to beg members to take action against the mayor.
VALERIE BEREZ: The man has done so much to disgrace us. I mean, every day you're on the news, YouTube, Jon Stewart. You know, that's not how the chief executive officer should represent this city.
HULETT: But officials in the Kilpatrick administration, like Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams, are quick to dismiss the council's vote.
ANTHONY ADAMS: This is a meaningless gesture, because they can't remove the mayor. They have no legal authority; their attorney's already cautioned them that this road is fraught with danger.
HULETT: But council member Sheila Cockrel says something has to be done.
SHEILA COCKREL: We need to get the city moving forward and in order to do that, as tragic as it is, this enormously talented, gifted, charismatic politician who cannot accept responsibility, and will not operate within the framework of the rule of law, needs to go.
HULETT: For NPR News, I'm Sarah Hulett in Detroit.
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