DETROIT (AP) — The wife and father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were ordered Tuesday to answer questions in a civil lawsuit alleging that officials stifled an investigation into the fatal shooting of a stripper.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen announced his decision after a two-hour hearing that was closed to the public.
Tamara Greene was shot several times while sitting in a parked car in April 2003. The 27-year-old, who danced under the name "Strawberry," was rumored to have performed at a wild party at the city's mayoral mansion in 2002.
The $150 million lawsuit isn't seeking to find Greene's killer, only to prove Kilpatrick, high-ranking police and other city officials stifled an investigation into the slaying and violated the rights of Greene's survivors.
Rosen said lawyers for Greene's family can interview the former mayor's wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and former Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver. No dates were set.
It's not known exactly why they will be deposed, although a former Detroit police records clerk has said she saw a report that Greene was beaten by Carlita Kilpatrick. The report has never been found, however, and the Kilpatricks deny the allegation.
The judge turned down a request to depose Brooke Jordan, who once worked for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.
Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma believes Jordan might have information on the state investigation of the possible party. Cox has said the party is an "urban legend."
Rosen said he asked reporters to leave the courtroom to prevent the disclosure of anything that could affect the reopened investigation of Greene's death. Most court filings in the lawsuit are also sealed.
"The matters that were argued reinforce the sensitivity," the judge said after reopening the courtroom.
Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice. He had concealed an affair with his chief of staff during a civil lawsuit filed by police officers who accused him of punishing them for pursuing misconduct in his inner circle.
Rosen also denied a request by Kilpatrick's lawyer to stop representing him in the Greene lawsuit. James Thomas said he's tied up in an unrelated criminal case.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
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