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Published: Friday, 2/29/2008

Council tells Detroit mayor to quit or face ouster

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick talks to reporters at the Greenhouse Senior Apartments in Detroit. Yesterday council called for his resignation. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick talks to reporters at the Greenhouse Senior Apartments in Detroit. Yesterday council called for his resignation.

DETROIT - A Detroit City Council committee passed a resolution yesterday accusing Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of using his office for personal gain and calling on him to resign or risk being forced from office.

The resolution, which is expected to go before the entire City Council for a vote on Tuesday, accuses Mr. Kilpatrick of lying under oath when he denied during a whistle-blower lawsuit that he was involved romantically with his now ex-chief of staff, Christine Beatty.

If the mayor refuses to resign, the resolution directs special counsel William Goodman to research how the City Council can remove Mr. Kilpatrick from office through the forfeiture provision of the City Charter.

Mr. Kilpatrick has denied wrongdoing and vowed to stay in office. "Since I was 9 years old, the only job I ever wanted was to be mayor of the city of Detroit. I'll be here for as long as I can be here," he said.

The resolution was approved a day after the state's highest court rejected an effort by Mr. Kilpatrick to prevent documents from being released to the public that detail a city settlement that helped conceal an apparent affair with Ms. Beatty.

A prosecutor is expected to decide by mid-March whether to pursue perjury charges against the two.

They testified during a lawsuit by two former police officers who alleged they were fired or forced to resign for investigating claims that Mr. Kilpatrick used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs. A third officer claimed in a separate lawsuit that he was harassed because he knew of alleged affairs.

The city agreed to an out-of-court settlement with the officers for $8.4 million.

Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said a key factor in introducing the resolution was Mr. Kilpatrick's concealment of the reasons he requested City Council drop its appeal of the lawsuit verdict and agree to the settlement. City lawyers said it was to save legal fees, but it emerged that the deal also was designed to keep the sexually explicit text messages from Mr. Kilpatrick to Ms. Beatty's city-issued pager from going public.

"We thought we were approving an agreement for one reason, and in fact we were approving it for another reason," Mr. Kenyatta said.

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