Posted Aug. 28, 2008 – Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick could be spending his final week in office after reportedly turning down a second plea opportunity to reduce the felony charges he faces.
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Kilpatrick last week rejected an offer from prosecutors that would let him plead guilty to one of two felony assault charges, connected with his alleged shove of a sheriff’s deputy at his sister’s home last month. The mayor on Tuesday reportedly turned down a second, unspecified plea deal that would’ve required him to serve at least 90 days in jail.
Legal experts note that Kilpatrick’s time for negotiation may be rapidly dwindling, in light of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s announcement this week that she’ll hold Sept. 3 hearings to decide if the mayor is removed for improper conduct. Prosecutors and various city leaders have lobbied in recent weeks for Kilpatrick to receive lesser charges if he steps down voluntarily. But Granholm’s decision could leave the mayor to face criminal prosecution as a common citizen. His multiple felony charges in the alleged assault and in a pending perjury case could result in years of imprisonment if he’s convicted.
Detroit media sources report that Kilpatrick is considering resignation, but hesitant while incarceration is on the table.
The mayor’s troubles began this spring when a Detroit Free Press investigation revealed numerous text messages between the mayor and his ex-chief of staff, suggesting that they lied under oath about an extra-marital affair between the two. The mayor authorized a multi-million-dollar court settlement with ex-cops whose investigation into overtime abuse could’ve exposed the romance.
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