Legal News - Detroit Soap Opera Continues As Kilpatrick Sues Governor

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Indicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick claims Gov. Jennifer Granholm is prejudiced against him and unfit to conduct a hearing scheduled for Wednesday to decide whether Kilpatrick should be ousted from office. In a continuing "reality" soap opera, Kilpatrick was charged on March 24 with eight felonies, including perjury, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. He is awaiting trial. Kilpatrick, still serving his second term as mayor, is accused of lying about his sexual relationship with his chief of staff and authorizing payments of millions of dollars of public money to cover it up.

Gov. Granholm is slated to head a hearing beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday to decide whether Kilpatrick will be booted from office.

Kilpatrick's lawsuit in Wayne County Court states that Gov. Granholm "has ordered that the hearing will be limited to the resolution of two questions: (1) whether Kilpatrick, in his official capacity as Mayor of the City of Detroit, authorized settlement in the maters of Brown v. Detroit Mayor and Harris v. Detroit Mayor in furtherance of his personal and private interests; and (2) whether Kilpatrick, in his official capacity as Mayor, concealed from or failed to disclose to the Detroit City Council information material to its review and approval of the settlements." (Citations omitted; both lawsuits against Kirkpatrick were in Wayne County Court.)

"Under the relevant statute, the level of proof in support of Kilpatrick's removal is that the Governor is 'satisfied' that there is 'sufficient evidence' of 'official misconduct.' This burden of proof is entirely vague and amorphous," Kilpatrick says. "... Defendant has made prior statements indicating that she has prejudged the matter before her and is predisposed to ruling that Kilpatrick should be removed from office."

Kilpatrick wants the governor enjoined from conducting the hearing and the state law that authorized it declared "void for vagueness." His lead counsel is James Thomas.

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