Before Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick became embroiled in political scandal, or at least so dizzyingly embroiled that his eight felony charges and suspected role in putting a hit out on an exotic dancer make Eliot Spitzer’s run with prostitution look like philanthropy, he was just another fun loving mayor with a keen sense of style. At the night of our encounter, at a GM sponsored event in the Motor City, I shared this fashion sense with Kwame., and through a mutual appreciation of our apparel reminiscent of prohibition era bootlegging gangsters, we had a moment.
For those unfamiliar with Kwame’s scandal, I’ll give you a rundown:
In 2002 rumors emerged that he’d thrown a serious rager at Manoogian Mansion, the city’s mayoral residence. We’re talking the kind of party that young city scenesters get their tongues out at with hopes that party blogs will catch them in the pinnacle of their raunchy sexuality. At least that’s how I see it. The specific atmosphere can only be speculated, but there were strippers there. Allegedly Kwame’s wife Carlita came home in the midst of the shindig and pooped heavily on the party, getting in a fist fight with one of the dancers. (Carlita is the woman behind Kwame’s left shoulder in the video above). The mayor’s security team is suspected of assaulting party-goers. And one of the dancers, a Miss Tamara Greene, was murdered in professional fashion shortly after the party. She was shot 18 times in her SUV while her boyfriend sitting next to her was unharmed. Hmm…
The shindig provoked an internal investigation of the mayor and his security team, which, in turn, inspired the mayor and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, to fire the officers leading the investigation. To do so is illegal, and so the officers sued the mayor.
The suit went to civil court last year, and during the trial, Mayor Kwame and Christine Beatty denied having romantic affairs with each other. They also denied firing the officers. When the verdict went against them, they settled, using $8.4 million of city money to pay off the officers. Suspicious, no? And shortly after that, to top it all off, thousands of text messages that Kilpatrick and Beatty had sent to each other in the months after the party fell into the public eye. The Detroit Free Press published some juicy ones:
Beatty: “And, did you miss me, sexually?”
Kilpatrick: “Hell yeah! You couldn’t tell. I want some more. “
And on the topic of firing the officers:
Beatty: “I’m sorry that we are going through this mess because of a decision that we made to fire [Deputy Police Cheif] Gary Brown. I will make sure that the next decision is much more thought out. Not regretting what was done at all. But thinking about how we can do things smarter.”
Kilpatrick replied: “It had to happen though. I’m all the way with that!”
So Kwame and his lover on the side lied and now are charged with, among other things, perjury and obstruction of justice. He has until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to turn himself in.
I wonder what he’ll be wearing? I wonder how the dimple on his tie will be? And you know, maybe Kwame did do some indecent things, but he was nice to me. He loved my hat. He thought I was styling. He suggested I try pinstripes. He had a very exuberant smile. Unfortunately, I was too short sighted to give him my phone number so that he could text message me in the future. Thus our acquaintance has withered. Soon will too his political career. But Kwame, for all you’re faults, I think your beautiful too. You like to party, you like to keep it real, you like to blur the boundaries between business and pleasure and make love with your most important coworker. Despite the fact that you used a crippled city as your piggy bank, you will always have a special place in my heart.
for more on Mayor Kilpatrick: