Posted April 7, 2008 – A tearful Christine Beatty apologized to a Detroit judge on Friday before he ordered the former city official to wear a tether and restricted her from leaving Michigan.
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Magistrate Steve Lockhart chastised Beatty, who was ordered not to travel without court permission after she and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were charged with perjury and other felonies in March for allegedly lying under oath last year.
Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having an extra-marital affair with one another and denied having fired police who were investigating a case that would've exposed their relationship. But text messages between the mayor and Beatty, his ex chief of staff, later suggested a cover-up between the two. Both Beatty and the mayor were formally charged last month, and Beatty was required to get permission from the court before leaving Michigan. Yet she admitted Friday that she bought a plane ticket to travel South in search of new job prospects, since her resignation.
"I will preface this by saying this woman is accused of perjury. This woman is accused of being a liar," Lockhart said at a bond hearing. "This woman is accused of being less than candid when the law requires her to be more candid." Lockhart said Beatty's purchase of a plane ticket to Atlanta before getting the court's approval to travel suggests a lack of respect.
Added the judge: "This defendant has not been properly made to understand that she is facing criminal charges, which, if convicted, can put her in prison for a long, long time. And that needs to be taken seriously and not cavalierly, and that a person doesn’t ask to go out of state, having purchased, possibly, tickets and then call to ask to leave tomorrow. That convinces this court that this person has no sense of the gravity of the proceedings that she is facing, and that bond review needs to be in order."
Lockhart ordered Beatty to be tethered with an ankle monitor, and said she can no longer leave Michigan under any circumstance.
Beatty cried as she addressed the court. "I didn’t realize I was supposed to get approval for purchasing the ticket," she said. "This wasn’t a game. I didn’t know the process."
Meanwhile, Kilpatrick was out of town, reportedly on city business. Many observers of the scandal have cited a double-standard in Kilpatrick's treatment, compared with Beatty's.
Beatty resigned immediately after the text messages surfaced, while Kilpatrick has refused to step down. Kilpatrick has also gained a considerable force of public support, including a defense fund, while Beatty has mainly been left to struggle with legal fees and single parenting. Both are scheduled to appear in court April 18 for a pre-trial conference.