Hat Tip: Detroit Free Press
Christine Beatty, 37, resigned her post as chief of staff to Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick this morning, saying the text-message scandal engulfing the administration has left her unable to do her job effectively.Kilpatrick’s office had no comment on Beatty’s resignation, and the mayor still has not been seen in public today.
Beatty resigned five days after the Free Press reported in an exclusive investigation that she and the mayor had lied under oath in a whistleblower’s suit against the city. Text messages exchanged by the two and obtained by the Free Press contradict what they said on the witness stand about their relationship and about their decision to fire a police officer who was investigating possible wrongdoing by the mayor’s staff.
In her letter of resignation, submitted to the city this morning, Beatty said, “I’ve served the administration and Detroit citizens with diligence, strength and perseverence and I hope that my efforts will one day show through above all else.
“In spite of this, however, I believe that it is clear I can no longer effectively carry out the duties of chief of staff. Therefore, this letter serves as my resignation effective February 8, 2008, to allow for an orderly transition of my duties with the new chief of staff.
“I painfully regret the devastation that the recent reports have caused to the citizens of Detroit, to my coworkers, to the mayor’s family and to my family and friends.”
Kilpatrick’s spokesman James Canning said the mayor’s office “had no further comment at this time” on the resignation.
Beatty’s departure brings an end to more than a decade of working with and for Kilpatrick, her former Cass Tech High School classmate.
Their work together started when Kilpatrick ran for the state House in 1996 after his mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, decided to give up her seat to run for Congress.
When Kilpatrick gave his farewell speech to the House in December 2001 as he prepared to take office as mayor, he credited Beatty.
“I ran for this position at 25 years old, in 1996. I was just a young guy out there who couldn’t get any support. Nobody would support us. Everyone told us to pay our dues, that we’re not old enough, come back when you learn a little more and you have a little more money,” he said in that speech.
“I say us, because, I had a meeting and I asked for everyone that wanted to support me and endorse me to come to that meeting and two people showed up. Those two people were Christine Beatty and Derrick Miller. We ran a three person campaign with ten thousand dollars. We walked and knocked on every single door in our district and we worked as hard as we could. We didn’t get any of the endorsements, none of those big Democratic endorsements that you want. None from labor and none from the Congressional districts. We just knocked on doors and we ran a real grass-roots and focused campaign and by God, we won!”
After serving as a legislative aide to Kilpatrick, Beatty ran the day-to-day operations of his 2001 mayoral campaign. After Kilpatrick won, he named her chief of staff and she had an almost omnipresent role in the administration.
Until Kilpatrick named his first deputy mayor, Anthony Adams, in 2004, Beatty unofficially filled that role, stepping in to run the city when Kilpatrick left town.
Beatty had direct oversight of the departments of Human Resources, Labor Relations, Human Services, Health & Wellness Promotion and Senior Citizens and of the Mayor’s Office, Neighborhood City Halls, 311 Call Center and communications. She had a major role in Kilpatrick’s Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative.
But Beatty also ran into trouble. She was accused of pulling rank when Detroit police pulled her over on a traffic violation, resulting in a lawsuit that is still pending.
Before Beatty’s resignation was announced, Canning said this morning that the mayor was not scheduled to issue a statement today. He has “nothing on his public calendar,” he said.
“When he has something to say, we’ll let you know.”