Posted March 11, 2008 – A retired city employee could hold the remaining nails for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s political coffin.
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After weeks of negative publicity in the wake of text messages that reveal an apparent affair between the married mayor and his former aide, a former civilian police staffer has come forward.
Joyce Rogers has given a sworn affidavit saying she saw a 2002 crime report that lies at the root of the text-message controversy.
Kilpatrick’s alleged affair came to light when a January Detroit Free Press article suggested the mayor lied under oath about his relationship with Christine Beatty in last year’s lawsuit filed by two ex-cops.
Officers Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope sued Kilpatrick and the city, claiming they were wrongly demoted, in retaliation for their investigation of a rumored party involving strippers at the mayor’s mansion. The mayor has long denied that the party ever took place. But Brown’s and Nelthrope’s lawyers argued that Kilpatrick was afraid the cops’ investigations would publicly expose both the party and his affair with Beatty. To make matters even more tragic, a dancer who is said to have performed at the party was later murdered.
Rogers came forward after learning that cops are still investigating the murder of the dancer, Tamara Greene, and that her teenage son is suing the city for wrongful death. Rogers says she saw the report in which Greene claimed she was attacked with a weapon by Kilpatrick’s wife after the First Lady arrived at the party, unexpectedly.
“The whole office knew about it,” says Rogers, a retired police mail clerk. Kilpatrick and the City agreed to a multi-million-dollar settlement with the ex-cops, without Kilpatrick admitting any wrongdoing.
Part of the cops’ investigation stemmed from reports of their fellow officers gaining excessive overtime, including being paid for duty at the alleged party.
It has been openly speculated among Detroit citizens that Greene was killed because she danced at the event, and could verify everything that took place. She was reportedly shot to death with a .40-caliber pistol, of the variety used by Detroit police.
“We are not going to speculate, but we are very interested in what we heard today, and we are going to move forward from that point,” Deputy Police Chief James Tate says of Rogers ’ claim. “Our goal, again, is to have anyone who has information to contact us to help us close this case.”
The mayor is set to deliver his annual “State of the City” address in Detroit tonight, but he’s not likely to respond to Rogers ’ statements.
Kilpatrick is already under investigation for possible perjury charges, since the text messages surfaced, suggesting he lied about the relationship with his aide. Rogers is scheduled for a deposition and cross-examination about her statements by the mayor’s criminal lawyer.