Saturday, January 26, 2008

More Mayoral Frivolities...

A few days ago, I wrote about Grace Saenz-Lopez, the mayor of Alice, TX, who has managed to jam herself up with allegations that she and her twin sister stole a dog.

Now we learn, via the Detroit Free Press (the "good" freepers) that Detroit's mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is once again in trouble. Kilpatrick has been in trouble more or less since he took office, what with allegations of strippers at a party at the Manoogian Mansion (the mayor's official residence), claims he tried to get the police department of a bankrupt city to pay for a Lincoln Navigator for his wife, and a whole slew of other complaints. Last summer, two former cops (one a former deputy chief) sued the city under a whistleblower statute, claiming they had been fired for participating in an internal affairs investigation that might have revealed the mayor was having an affair with his chief of staff. Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied, under oath, that they were having an affair. The Free Press managed to get transcripts and images of text messages sent back and forth on city-paid Sky pagers, that indicate the two were, in fact, making the two-backed beast.

Kilpatrick was supposed to be attending a mayor's conference in Washington, DC, when the story broke; it turns out, however, he was at a home his family had just purchased in Florida. As one local blogger put it, "he was, not surprisingly, unavailable."

Local DA Kym Worthy held a press conference, promising her office would look into these allegations. The effect was diminished, however, by Worthy's obvious disgust at being "bothered" by this whole thing. State Attorney General Cox is staying out of this for the time being, pending developments in Detroit. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for either of these folks to act.

Kilaptrick, echoing every other politician who gets caught with his pants down, is begging the press to "respect his family's privacy" and claiming that this mess is just a "personal matter." Unfortunately, that doesn't wash. Kilpatrick has been a slime since his first days in politics, and using city resources -- especially the resources of a city in as bad a shape as Detroit -- takes this out of the realm of family matters.

If you are the mayor of a major American city, you should understand going in that you are going to be living in a fishbowl. Politicians, because of their high public profile, have no privacy. Don't believe me? Ask Rudy, the Clenis, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and God knows how many others.

And speaking of Foley, Kilpatrick should have learned from Foley's shenanigans - don't email, text, or IM anything you wouldn't want to see on the front page.

Lying under oath, my friends, is called perjury. It is a felony in every jurisdiction I'm aware of. A conviction for perjury generally involves prison time, and is grounds for losing any professional licenses a person may hold (ranging from EMT to dentist to attorney). Kilpatrick, as an attorney and member of the bar, should be disbarred immediately; by committing perjury -- especially in an effort to conceal his personal peccadilloes -- has forfeited any right to a position of public trust. Beatty, who is a law student, should be expelled and prohibited from holding any public trust position.

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