Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and a former aide have been charged with lying under oath about the nature of their relationship. Last week, Kilpatrick and Kristine Beatty, his former chief of staff, pled not guilty to multiple counts of perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office during their arraignment.
The charges were filed following a nearly two month probe after excerpts of some 14,000 text messages between the two of them were published by the Detroit Free Press. The text messages had either been sent or received by Beatty’s city-issued pager between 2002 and 2003 and included sexually explicit dialogue, plans to meet, and exchanges about ways they could conceal their extramarital affair.
Last year, while under oath, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having an affair. They had given this testimony during a lawsuit filed by two police officers who had sued the city of Detroit.
The two cops said they were fired from their jobs because they had been investigating claims that Kilpatrick had used his security team to cover up the fact that he had extramarital affairs. Both Kilpatrick and Beatty are married with children.
The city of Detroit settled the charges filed by the two men and a third police officer for $8.4 million. Kilpatrick and Beatty are accused of signing an agreement to keep the text messages confidential and the mayor is accused of agreeing to the settlement to cover up his affair with Beatty.
All of the criminal charges filed against Mayor Kilpatrick are considered felonies in Michigan. He will be fired immediately if he is convicted of a felony. The conviction for perjury alone could result in 15 years in prison.
Michigan Attorney Mike Cok and the Detroit City Council have called on Kilpatrick to step down. He is refusing to do so.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says other people may be charged as the investigation progresses.
In Massachusetts, perjury is considered a serious crime. Under the General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 268, Section 1:
Whoever, being lawfully required to depose the truth in a judicial proceeding or in a proceeding in a course of justice, wilfully swears or affirms falsely in a matter material to the issue or point in question, or whoever, being required by law to take an oath or affirmation, wilfully swears or affirms falsely in a matter relative to which such oath or affirmation is required, shall be guilty of perjury. Whoever commits perjury on the trial of an indictment for a capital crime shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life or for any term of years, and whoever commits perjury in any other case shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment in jail for not more than two and one half years, or by both such fine and imprisonment in jail.
Defining perjury in Kilpatrick case: Judge the facts for yours, Freep.com, March 30, 2008
Detroit mayor, ex-aide plead not guilty, USA Today, March 26, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Detroit Mayor’s Office
If you have been charged with perjury or any other crime, contact our Boston, Massachusetts criminal defense law firm. We are known for the aggressive, thorough, and creative defenses that we offer our clients. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.