Lt. Michael Kearns signed an affidavit with Birmingham attorney Norman Yatooma in which he says he interviewed Greene, a stripper, at a gas station on Jefferson and Conner in the fall of 2002.
“The woman was very upset and had swelling over her left eye,” Kearns said, adding she and a friend “were dancing at a party at the Manoogian Mansion and that the Mayor’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, threw a fit, hit her and the other dancer, then kicked them out of the house.”
Yatooma filed the disclosures today in U.S. District Court in connection with a lawsuit that accuses the city of thwarting an investigation into Greene’s April 30, 2003, killing.
In his affidavit, Kearns said Greene was also talking with Detroit Police officers and an EMS unit arrived and subsequently transported her to a hospital. The affidavit does not name any of the EMS workers or police officers.
Kearns said the incident occurred on a Friday or Saturday night, but he did not remember the date.
He said he never came forward: “out of fear for my career and my safety.”
Kearns said in his affidavit that he told his story to Lt. John Morrell in the Detroit Police Department homicide section in June of this year. Morrell asked Kearns to submit to an interview with another homicide detective, Mike Carlisle, Kearns said. He said he ran into Carlisle on a police run about two weeks ago, but still has not been interviewed.
Carlisle said today when contacted by the Free Press that Kearns didn’t have enough specific information.
“At the time I spoke with him, he was unable to provide enough information for me to actually conduct any type of interview,” Carlisle said. “I advised him that if he could give me some solid information on dates and times when this occurred that we would set up a time and date to talk. To this day, I have not heard back from him.”
A second EMS supervisor, retired Lt. Walter Godzwon, gave an affidavit saying he saw Mayor Kilpatrick at Detroit Receiving Hospital with his bodyguards one night in the fall of 2002. He did not give a specific date.
He said he learned through conversations that the mayor’s bodyguards brought an injured woman to the hospital.
Reached today, Godzwon told the Free Press he is a city resident and has a pension and “I’m in the middle of this and I’m not a willing participant. This is a stage of my life I would like to forget about.”
Godzwon said he also saw former Detroit emergency medical technician Douglas Bayer at the scene.
Bayer recently filed a whistle-blower’s lawsuit against the city, alleging he was retaliated against for providing the Michigan State Police with information about the rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion.
“I made these statements because they’re the truth,” Godzwon said. “Someone put me at the scene and asked me specific questions. I don’t lie.”
Detroit’s infamous Kilpatrick Dynasty faces a test today as Michigan voters go to the polls to select nominees for the fall general election. Amid the light turnout, apathy and summer malaise, the Dynasty’s continued existence as a national power remains unclear. A poll last week by the Detroit News indicates Mrs. Kilpatrick, the Mayor’s mother and enabler, has a large disapproval rating and only the support of a third of the electorate. If her challengers ultimately fail It wasn’t for lack of trying. Former state Representative Mary Waters and State Senator Martha Scott did the best they could in the short time that they had to shed some light on the shady dealings of Detroit’s first family of sleaze and hold them accountable.
THE FAMILY THAT PREYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER
In the aftermath of the massive firestorm that erupted when Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was found to have lied under oath in connection with illegally firing several police officers on his security detail and a deputy police chief to cover up his infidelity with his Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, other questionable acts of abuse of power and malfeasance came to light. No matter the allegation alleged: perjury, obstruction of justice, misappropriation of public funds, nepotism, questionable no-bid contracts, and even murder, the Kilpatricks remain unified in their efforts to maintain a stranglehold on power.
TAMARA GREENE-CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT MURDER?
A $150 million dollar lawsuit was filed this spring by Jonathan Bond and his Father, Ernest Flagg against the City of Detroit and Kwame Kilpatrick in the unresolved death of stripper Tamara Greene, 27, who was gunned down in a hail of bullets after allegedly providing the “entertainment” at a never-proven party at Mannoogian Mansion sometime in the fall of 2002. What was believed to be an urban legend has proven to have some legitimacy after a retired clerical employee of the police department came forward to say that she had seen the police report in the incident and a police officer came forward to allege that he believed Ms. Greene was deliberately killed by law enforcement at the behest of the Mayor and that they covered it up.
BERNARD KILPATRICK-THE GODFATHER
The Mayor’s father and Congresswoman Carolyn Kilpatrick’s ex-husband were Wayne County’s premier Black power couple back in the day when she was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives and he served on the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. Despite the dissolution of their union, they remain close to this day and their joint project, Kwame, is the apple of their eyes. Mr. Bernard used to eclipse his ex-wife in power and prestige before her election to congress due to his long service as Chief of Staff and Deputy to the Wayne County Executive .
I believe that it was he, more than any other single individual, that led to former County Executive Ed McNamara’s pivotal endorsement of Kwame’s bid for Mayor. McNamara’s endorsement was crucial to almost everyone in statewide politics and guided many high profile elected officials, like Governor Jennifer Granholm, to victory.
Carolyn Kilpatrick has been a vocal booster of her son’s political career, no matter her sons failings as a public servant, husband and father. She serves as the more public face of the dynasty, but I believe that Mr. Bernard’s quiet counsel is the more influential because he seems to be the offstage presence directing Kwame’s disastrous Mayoralty from behind the scenes.
After his 2002 retirement from the Wayne County Executive’s office, Mr. Bernard opened a lobbying firm he named Maestro Associates LLC in honor of his late father, James Kilpatrick, who was called “Maestro”and was eulogized as “the conductor of the family.” I believe those duties have fallen to Mr. Bernard now and his advice and counsel have run his son and protege, and the city of Detroit, off the rails.
Maestro Associates, according to published reports, “provide(s) information to help businesses work with the state, county and local governments. Mr. Bernard told the media that “When you’re working in government for 20 years, you get ideas on how to help businesses grow.” It is clear that federal investigators believe that some of those ideas include a pay-to-play mentality in government contracting.
The Mayor’s campaign finance records show he paid more than $170,000 for “consulting” services to Michael Tardiff and Mr. Bernard. Again, according to published reports, the Feds bum rushed Tardiff to detail the relationship between Mr. Bernard and Synagro minority subcontractor, Rayford Johnson. It isn’t clear what Kwame is paying daddy for.
However, what is clear is that Synargro Technology, through its minority subcontractor, Rayford Jackson, funneled a series of campaign contributions to most of the Detroit City Council in what seems to be a not-to-slick effort to smooth the path of approval for their multi-billion dollar deal. Jackson, who Mr. Bernard acknowleges knowing, isn’t cooperating with federal investigators.
Mr. Bernard is also implicated in another investigation involving criminal tax evasion and fraud. Jon Rutherford, head of a Detroit homeless shelter, paid Mr. Bernard in excess of $100,000 for work federal investigators can find no evidence of. Rutherford was indicted in 2006 “for diverting money from his company to make $750,000 in illegal campaign contributions and dodging taxes on $2 million in income.”
Rutherford contributed to both Kwame’s campaign’s and that of Governor Granholm, who state law has invested with the authority to remove Kilpatrick from office for misconduct. She is currently considering the request from Detroit’s city council to remove the mayor from office.
According to the Associated Press, “The county’s state-court lawsuit against Rutherford and his treasurer and co-defendant Judith Bugaiski says they embezzled and stole. Rutherford and Bugaiski have pleaded not guilty in the criminal case and deny wrongdoing in the civil case.” Rutherford’s company had a $22.7 million dollar contract with the Detroit-Wayne County Mental Health Agency, an organization that Mr. Bernard was appointed to Chair by his son the Mayor. Mr. Bernard was subpoenaed in the case but asserted his 5th Amendment rights.
Lost in the shuffle for lucrative contracts and consulting fees are the homeless and mentally ill that the agency is supposed to serve and the taxpayers of Detroit.
Among those Kwame hired are his uncle Ray Cheeks, at a salary of $89,000. Mr. Cheeks managed the neighborhood city halls and apparently was oblivious or looked the other way while his deputy misappropriated $146,000. Mr. Cheeks subsequently left the job and was promoted to executive assistant to the mayor at a salary of $93,000. To the vacant position, Kwame appointed another relative, his cousin Akua Bragg-Porter. Not content to stop there, he hired his cousin and Mr. Cheeks’ daughter Nneka as an assistant to the Mayor making $50,500. She, too, was subsequently promoted to the position of executive assistant to the mayor and received a boost to $62,025.
Both Mr. Cheeks and his daughter reported on resumes obtained by the Detroit Free Press that they exaggerated their educations. Mr. Cheeks reported that he had graduated from Western Michigan State and his daughter reported that she had attended Michigan State. Neither claim was substantiated upon further investigation. During this entire period, regular rank and file city employees received 2% raises in 2003 and 2004.
AYANNA AND CARLITA KILPATRICK’s Next Vision Foundation Hustle
The Mayor’s Sister is President and CEO of the Next Vision Foundation, a fraudulent scholarship and piggy bank slush fund supposedly dedicated to the children in Detroit’s dismal public schools. According to a class action lawsuit filed against the foundation, more than half of the $717,000 raised in 2002 and 2003 went to pay for the salary of the President and CEO. Not to be left out, Mrs. Carlita Kilpatrick, the mayors wife, got her slice of the pie as a part-time event planner.
According to the attorney filing the lawsuit. “They took money from a scholarship fund that was purported to be given money to high school students for their education and gave it to themselves for salaries. We see that as really a breach of trust on the Detroit students. We believe that that money should be reimbursed by Kwame Kilpatrick to the Detroit school students.”
FACING THE MUSIC
The enormous sense of entitlement and the shameless corruption of the Kilpatrick family is evident in Carolyn Kilpatrick’s continued defense of her son’s indefensible behavior. The fact that she is the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus is even more embarrassing. It is my sincere prayer that voters send this family a message that public officials shouldn’t be for sale and that honesty and the public good still mean something.
Kilpatrick is charged with eight felonies and Beatty with seven. They are: perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.
Worthy said the perjury charges accuse the two of lying during a whistle-blower lawsuit about the firing of Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown and about their romantic relationship.
Kilpatrick, 38, serving his seventh year in office, is the first Detroit mayor to face criminal charges while still in office. The perjury charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
“Lying cannot be tolerated, even if a judge and jury can see through it and doesn’t buy the line,” Worthy said at a packed news conference.
“Witnesses must give truthful testimony,” she added. “Oaths mean something.”
Right after Worthy’s announcement, the mayor’s office sent out a news release saying he and his attorney will hold a news conference at noon to respond. But at 12:45 p.m., they still had not appeared.
The mayor is expected to be arraigned at 5 p.m. today in 36th District Court in Detroit. It wasn’t clear when Beatty will turn herself in, but she must do so before 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Worthy declined to say whether she thinks the mayor should step down. Beatty resigned on Feb. 8.
During her news conference, Worthy said city lawyers had tried to erect barriers to her investigation, forcing prosecutors to go to court to try to obtain documents. She said investigators are still trying to obtain documents for the investigation, which will continue.
“At every bend and turn, there have been attempts by the city through one lawyer or another to block aspects of our investigation,” Worthy said. “Some documents have been turned over, but we have been told that others have been destroyed or lost. We don’t know when or by whom.”
She said the investigation wasn’t about sex, but about destroying the lives and careers of three good cops.
“Gary Brown’s, Harold Nelthrope’s and Walter Harris’ lives and careers were forever changed,” Worthy said. “They were ruined financially and their reputations were completely destroyed because they chose to be dutiful police officers.”
She added: “Our investigation has clearly shown that public dollars were used, people’s lives were ruined, the justice system severely mocked and the public trust trampled on.”
Worthy said she had discussed the investigation with U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy, but declined to say what they discussed. Murphy declined today to comment on Worthy’s statement. The FBI is monitoring the investigation, according to people familiar with the case.
She said her staff had reviewed more than 40,000 pages of documents and interviewed many witnesses. She said her investigation had led to other possible defendants whom she didn’t identify. Worthy said her team of prosecutors on the case includes Lisa Lindsey, Robert Moran, Athina Siringas, Robert Spada and Timothy Baughman.
Worthy’s investigation began after the Free Press uncovered text messages that showed a romantic relationship between Kilpatrick and Beatty — a relationship both had denied under oath during a police whistle-blower lawsuit last summer. The pair also gave misleading testimony about the firing of Brown, the messages show.
Kilpatrick authorized a settlement in that case to pay the former officers $8.4 million.
Despite the false testimony, a Wayne County Circuit Court jury last September awarded Brown and Nelthrope $6.5 million in damages. Kilpatrick vowed to appeal, but on Oct. 17, abruptly decided to settle the case and a second police whistle-blower suit involving former mayoral bodyguard Walt Harris for $8.4 million – $9 million with legal costs.
Kilpatrick settled after the cops’ lawyer, Mike Stefani, informed the mayor’s lawyer that he had the incriminating text messages and would reveal them in court papers he planned to file to justify his request for legal fees in the whistle-blower case.
Although Kilpatrick apologized for his conduct in a televised appearance with his wife, Carlita, in late January, he has blamed the media for his troubles and rejected calls from the City Council, Attorney General Mike Cox and city union locals to resign.
Settlement documents the Free Press obtained last month through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the city show that – contrary to Kilpatrick’s claim that he decided to settle based on advice from friends, advisers and ordinary citizens – he made peace with the cops after discovering that Stefani had the text messages.
Although Kilpatrick’s lawyers settled the suit with one agreement on Oct. 17, they decided to split it into public and private settlements after the Free Press requested a copy.
The public agreement showed how much the former cops would be paid. The secret agreement, signed by Kilpatrick and Beatty, swore Brown, Nelthrope and Stefani to secrecy about the text messages under threat of forfeiting their settlement proceeds and legal fees.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr. released the secret agreement last month after the Kilpatrick administration repeatedly denied its existence. Colombo released the agreement and other secret settlement records after the administration appealed unsuccessfully to the Michigan Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court, which rejected Kilpatrick’s claim that the documents weren’t public documents.
The City Council, which was kept in the dark about Kilpatrick’s reasons for settling the lawsuit and never saw the confidential side agreement, voted 7-1 last week to pass an advisory resolution calling for the mayor to resign. It also ordered an investigation of the episode and directed its auditor general to look into spending by the mayor’s office and the city Law Department.
Kilpatrick went on television with his wife in late January and apologized for his conduct, he insists there was no cover-up and has blamed the news media for most of his problems. He accused the Free Press of illegally obtaining the text messages – which the newspaper denies– and accusing the media of conducting a public lynching. He said the text messages and the settlement agreement that concealed them should never have been made public.
He also said the text messages were private even though he signed a policy directive in June 2000 advising city employees that all electronic communications should be considered public.
So far, Kilpatrick has refused to step down, saying he is on a divinely-inspired mission to help rebuild the city. But conviction of a felony would force him to resign.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I give you Atlantic Starr singing that old 80’s jam, Secret Lovers.
Full text of Kilpatrick’s speech (Revised by Skeptical Brotha)
January 30, 2008
MR. KILPATRICK: Good evening, Detroit. I want to start tonight by offering an obligatory, disingenuous Clintonian apology, I’m sorry. To all of you stupid enough to have believed in what we’ve been doing here since 2002, to all of you stupid enough to have believed in me, in my leadership, to all of you stupid enough to have stuck with me through very difficult times, to all of you who prayed for me not to get caught screwing around on my wife, I’m sorry.
For the embarrassment and the disappointment, the events of the past few days have caused you, for what you as my supporters, many of you, have had to hear as you traveled around our city to beauty shops and barbershops, what you had to hear when you were in Church this past Sunday from people who know that you have supported me. For those of you who have not always been Kwame Kilpatrick supporters, but who lift up our city, who live in our city, who support this town in various ways, Again, I offer a disingenuous apology to each and every one of you individually and to the whole city.
Most of all tonight, again, I want to make a disingenuous public apology to my entire family, and specifically to the four people I should love the most in this world.
First, I want to apologize to my sons, Jelani, Jalil and Jonas. For the first time in my life I had to have an adult conversation with my 12 year old twin sons about not using public cell phones to text message your mistress. It was without a doubt the hardest conversation that I’ve ever had in my entire life.Finally, and most importantly, I want to make a public apology to my wife Carlita, whose big booty and thighs I fell in love with when I was 19 years old.
Our marriage has not been perfect, the sex certainly hasn’t been lately-obviously, but overall it has been great. Now, I put her in a typical B.S. ghetto situation which many couples deal with in the privacy of their own homes, but in our case, I F’ed up and put our damn business in the street. I apologize to you, baby.At some point, perhaps we’ll have some great make-up nookie and put this tawdry spectacle behind us.
As many of you know, I’m a self-absorbed womanizer incapable of not whoring around and disrespecting God, my wife or my children, but I have to tell you I’ve felt more emotion in the last week than I have in the past 20 years. I’ve been truly hurting, I’ve been hurting because I know that many of you are hurting cause some of y’all still ain’t found a job since I laid you off. And most of all, I’ve been hurting because I know that my days of carousing America’s strip clubs on the city dime are numbered.
Over the past few years there’s been some speculation about who is in charge of the city. Make no mistake about it, since 2002 I have been in charge of mismanaging the city. There have been ups and downs, there have been hills and mountains and valleys, but through it all I remained in charge of the mismanaging the ship. I believe we built a team here that covers for my lack of focus and obvious deficiencies.
They’ve done a yeoman’s job pretending to care about the mission, focus and commitment that we must have to serve our citizens. We’ve done some amazing things, like concealing my $210,000 city credit card bill, the $25,000 lease the city paid for Carlita’s Navigator, and the hypocritical mass layoffs of city employees while I live like a King in Manoogian Mansion, but we have a lot of work left to do. Over the past few days there has also been a lot of speculation about me resigning from office.
Let me be clear tonight, Y’all will hafta send a swat team to get me outta Manoogian Mansion. We’ve got a lot of work to do and with your silent Negro acquiescence; I’m going to continue to mismanage this city into bankruptcy. I am truly blessed and grateful that my wife is beside me tonight, and she has some politically expedient remarks of her own to make.
CARLITA KILPATRICK: It is very difficult for me to talk to you at this moment, but I want to trick you fools into believing that what I am about to say is the heartfelt statement from a sympathetic and wronged woman.
Like all marriages, ours is not perfect. Like all men, he ain’t perfect, but through this shameless and cynical appeal to stupid God fearing Negroes, my husband and I will get through this. Yes, I’m pissed the fool got caught, I am hurt, and I will cut that heifer if she ever steps to my man again. But there is no question that I love living in Manoogian Mansion. With the help of our pastor and others, we have been going through the motions to look like we’re working through our mess.
Most sistahs who have problems in their marriage are able to throw a pot of hot grits on the Negro privately. Unfortunately, that option is not available to me-we can’t both be in jail. Our family has endured the most painful and intrusive week of our lives. Our most intimate issues have been laid out for all to see, for all to comment on, for all to dissect and analyze. This is the part where I pretend that this private matter is between me, my husband, and God. And pretend to be deeply committed to working through these issues together as a family.
As his wife, I know how feckless my husband is and his lack of commitment to better the City of Detroit. I don’t really care.However, I know full well that the bulk of you are as stupid as a box of rocks and that’s why I am asking the citizens of this city to be committed to him, and our family, and to the continued lavish subsidization of our lifestyle.
Allow our family the space and the privacy that is essential to anyone frontin’ as hard as we are. Lastly, I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of your fruitless prayers and your uplifting words. Thank you.
MR. KILPATRICK:In an obvious play for sympathy I don’t deserve and shouldn’t get, I would ask from this point forward that if you have to attack someone, attack me. I would ask that you don’t follow my wife; you don’t film my kids going to school. I ask you not to have helicopters flying around our home. I ask that you leave them alone. I am the mayor, I made the mistake, and I am accountable.
Because I could get could get locked up for what I’ve done, I am unable to discuss any of those issues at this time. But I do have one last piece of B.S I want to share with you tonight. Over the past week our marriage has been opened up for public view. This has been a situation where, yes, it’s been embarrassing, yes, it’s been painful, but through all of that, through the grace of God and a good PR expert, we’ve concocted this obviously self-serving public statement to bamboozle you.
We have committed to my political career, to making it better and stronger. Last week was the first weekend since I took office in January 2002 that I just put everything aside and focused on the growing firestorm unfolding on the pages of every newspaper in Michigan. I know people have been wanting to hang me from my toenails, but I needed some space to confer with public relations experts first and then claim that we’d had some much needed family time.
I want to thank the people of Detroit for their stupidity in allowing us time to come up with some slick, face-saving crap. We as a family needed to do that. I told my sons this past weekend to keep up with their women.If you get caught, you get up, you dust yourself off, and throw yourself on the mercy of gullible God fearing Negroes to keep your damn arse outta jail.
Detroit, I am determined to avoid conviction. I am determined to continue to cling to power as Mayor of this city.
Together we have managed to do great things. We have laid off more Negroes, we have charged more for garbage pickup than ever. We have balanced our budget on the backs of the most vulnerable and wiped out ahuge deficit.
I’ve been to strip clubs in 20 states on the city dime, and I am not stopping now.
Detroit, please continue to pray for our family, for our city and for our continued progress. God bless you, Detroit. I love you, and hopefully I won’t be indicted tomorrow.