Kwame Kilpatrick Wants to Make Bank on His Text Message Scandal

Kwame Kilpatrick Wants to Make Bank on His Text Message Scandal

Kwame Kilpatrick's lawsuit against the company that released his extramarital text messages could help him pay his debt to Detroit.

Published December 29, 2011

Say what you will about former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick — the man’s got pluck. The disgraced politician is suing SkyTel for $25 million, arguing that the city’s former text message provider violated federal law when it released the messages he had exchanged with his chief of staff, with whom he was having an extramarital affair.


According to a court filing obtained by The Detroit News earlier this week, Kilpatrick is seeking $14 million for statutory damages, $7 million in punitive damages, $3 million in actual damages and $1 million for emotional distress and loss of future business earnings.


SkyTel may be considering an out-of-court settlement, according to the court filing. The document indicates that the company’s attorneys are seeking to block jurors from hearing details about negotiations and offers when the case goes to trial in Mississippi on Jan. 30.


If Kilpatrick wins his case, he’ll be able to pay off the more than $800,000 in restitution that he still owes the city of Detroit. He also won’t have to deal with critics who say he’s living large in Texas while paying Detroit a measly $160 per month, which is reportedly less than he pays his local cable company.


Kilpatrick was forced to resign from office in 2008 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice charges and promising to pay the city $1 million in restitution. He was sent to prison in May 2010 after failing to honor the agreement and being dishonest about his finances.


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 (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Written by Joyce Jones


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