Judge Shields Mayor’s Text Messages From Public

     DETROIT (CN) – A district court judge decided not to release the contents of some text messages between Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, with whom he had an affair.

     U.S. District Judge Ronald Giles said the ruling applies to messages that could qualify as privileged or inadmissible material in the perjury and misconduct case against Kilpatrick and Beatty.
     The pair exchanged thousands of text messages, some of which surfaced in news reports. A May 15, 2003 message from the mayor to Beatty said, “I’m sorry that we are going through this mess because of a decision that we made to fire Gary Brown.”
     Brown is the former deputy police chief of internal affairs who settled a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city for $8.4 million. He had been selected to lead an investigation based on whistleblower claims that the mayor’s bodyguards were padding their timesheets, drinking on duty and not reporting car accidents.
     But Brown was allegedly fired before he could launch a full investigation. On the witness stand, Kilpatrick said Brown had chosen to retire, and the mayor denied having any romantic involvement with Beatty.
     However, text messages indicated otherwise, including one in which Kilpatrick wrote, “I’m madly in love with you,” to which Beatty replied, “I hope you feel that way for a long time. In case you haven’t noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!”
     Kilpatrick apologized to the city and his wife for the “embarrassment and disappointment” the affair caused, but refused to step down as mayor. Beatty resigned shortly after the scandal broke.
     The city has spent an estimated $9 million of taxpayer money on the case.

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