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Plea deal expected for mayor of Detroit

September 04, 2008|From the Associated Press

DETROIT — Prosecutors accusing Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of perjury said Wednesday that a plea deal could come as soon as today, a surprise development that could cost him his job.

The office of Wayne County prosecutor Kym L. Worthy had said the agreement could come Wednesday, then this morning. But Kilpatrick's attorney cautioned that talks were continuing.

The Detroit City Charter stipulates that any mayor guilty of a felony must be expelled from office. Kilpatrick is charged with eight felonies in the perjury case, linked to the attempted cover-up of an extramarital affair with an aide. To keep his job, he would have to get all the charges reduced to misdemeanors, or beat the charges in court. He also faces two assault charges.

"The plea deal has not been consummated. . . . They're still working out the finer points," lawyer James Thomas said after spending the day defending Kilpatrick at a separate hearing, on whether to remove Kilpatrick from office, led by Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm.

"I know jail time has been an issue. I don't know if it has been agreed to," Thomas said.

The City Council has asked Granholm to use her constitutional authority to expel Kilpatrick for misconduct, saying that it was misled when it approved an $8.4-million settlement last year with fired police officers.

Council members said they didn't know the deal carried secret provisions to keep a lid on steamy text messages between Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty, who was his chief of staff.

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