Defiant and refusing to step down, embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick continues to assert that records showing public funds financed an $8.4 million settlement between the city and terminated police officers are not public records. The deal included a confidentiality agreement forbidding the three officers from discussing text messages exchanged between Kilpatrick and former chief of staff and alleged paramour Christine Beatty showing the two lied under oath at the 2007 police whistleblower trial where they denied having an affair.
During a Friday radio interview, Kilpatrick called the messages private and personal, despite being exchanged on city-issued pagers, despite their relation to a lawsuit against the city in which the city paid the judgment and despite Judge Robert Columbo Jr.’s statement that "nothing could be further from the truth."
The Detroit City Council is now considering hiring an attorney to look into the whistleblower settlement, but has put off a vote on that issue for now. The former officers had alleged they were fired or forced to resign for investigating claims Kilpatrick had used security officers to cover up extramarital affairs. Kilpatrick has appealed the order and a panel is expected to determine whether or not to halt the records’ release at any time.
So, Mr. Mayor, if you’re a public official using public dollars (millions of them) to fund a settlement to cover up the misdeeds that may have occurred using public equipment and on public time . . . it’s most clearly a private matter and NOT the business of the public? Hmm. That judge was right: Nothing could be further from the truth.