A Detroit judge ordered Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to jail today for violating the terms of his bond in his perjury case after making a business trip and not informing the court.
According to the Associated Press, the mayor apologized to the court, telling District Court Judge Ronald Giles, “I’ve been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny.” After the apology, Giles sent the mayor to jail anyway, telling him he must treat any defendant the same.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Jackson said he wouldn’t hear an appeal by Kilpatrick’s lawyers until 9 a.m. Friday, meaning the mayor was to spend the night in jail.
Kilpatrick, who faces five to 15 years of prison time on eight felony counts including perjury, obstruction of justice, and misconduct in office, made the trip last month without telling the court in advance, leading the county prosecutor’s office to request Kilpatrick be reprimanded. The mayor went to Canada to push the sale of the city’s half of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
The charges against Kilpatrick stem from sexually explicit text messages allegedly sent between the mayor and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, who also faces felony charges. The text messages contradicted statements the two gave under oath denying an extramarital affair during a police department whistle-blower trial last summer. Kilpatrick approved a confidential settlement of the lawsuit that reportedly cost city taxpayers more than $9 million.
After his March indictment, Detroit’s youngest elected leader said he was deeply disappointed but not surprised. “This has been a very flawed process from the very beginning,” he said at a news conference at the time.
Kilpatrick has refused to resign amidst the charges, even after a City Council push to do so. A conviction would mean the end of Kilpatrick’s six-year term as mayor of one of America’s largest and heavily populated black cities.
According to reports, the mayor’s office released a statement that the mayor’s chief of staff, Kandia Milton, will serve as acting mayor while Kilpatrick is in jail.