Detroit Sex Scandal Gets Sexier

This Monday, March 24, 2008 booking photo released by the Wayne County Sheriff's Deptarment shows Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty
AP/Wayne County Sheriffs Dept
Text messages from the pager of his former top aide appear to show the evolution of flirty and sexually explicit exchanges involving Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to professions of love and eventually promises of marriage.

But for the married mayor and the now-divorced Christine Beatty, the outcome of their secret relationship referred to in the excerpts has been embarrassment, felony charges and possible prison time for both.

Beatty, the mayor's former chief of staff, also has been out of a job for more than two months after she resigned following the publication in January of some text message excerpts.

In an 18-page document released Tuesday, many of the messages - which all were sent from or received on Beatty's pager - refer to being in love.

According to a Sept. 23, 2002 text message from Beatty to the mayor, she wrote: "I love you so much man! Thank you for showing what it's like to be head over heels in love."

The document was ordered released Tuesday morning by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Colombo Jr. It was recovered from the computer of Michael Stefani, an attorney who represented three police officers in whistle-blowers' lawsuits that were settled last year for $8.4 million.

The document also reveals discussions about a potential reorganization of the police department's internal affairs unit without the knowledge of then-Police Chief Jerry Oliver.

Several top police officials, including current Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings, who was an assistant chief at the time, were aware of the plot that involved the firing of internal affairs chief Gary Brown, according to the excerpts released over the objections of attorneys representing Kilpatrick, Beatty and the city.

Brown was one of the three officers who filed the whistle-blowers' suits against Kilpatrick and the city.

Kilpatrick said Tuesday evening that he questioned the authenticity of the messages and that their release did not provide "the smoking gun" many had expected.

"It seems that it's just a regurgitation of old news. And it's unfortunate that now we're printing something as true that came off somebody's computer," he said following a community forum.

Kilpatrick said he will "keep marching forward" and expects to be fully exonerated.

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A prosecutor's report issued last month said Kilpatrick and Beatty attempted to keep Brown's firing a secret.

In his motion, Stefani said the text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty "clearly demonstrates that Brown was fired."

In a text message Beatty sent to Kilpatrick on May 15, 2003, she said: "I'm sorry that we are going through this mess because of a decision that we made to fire 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."

It was during the whistle-blowers' trial of Brown's and another officer's suit that Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003.

"Mayor Kilpatrick, during 2002 and 2003, were you romantically involved with Christine Beatty?" asked Stefani.

Kilpatrick's response: "No."

Beatty said "no" and rolled her eyes when asked if she and the mayor were "either romantically or intimately involved" during the period covered by the case.

But the text messages, excerpts of which were first published by the Detroit Free Press, told a different story.

In March, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Kilpatrick and Beatty, both 37, with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice stemming from that testimony. They face a June 9 preliminary examination.

The text messages are at the heart of the settlement of the whistle-blowers' lawsuits.

Kilpatrick said publicly last September that the city would appeal a jury's verdict in favor of the suit filed by Brown and former officer Harold Nelthrope.

But after Stefani gave one of Kilpatrick's lawyers a motion for attorney's fees that contained excerpts of the text messages, the suit was settled. The motion was never filed in court, and until the Free Press story, the text messages weren't publicly revealed.

Colombo said Tuesday he agreed to release the document because he believes it directly led to the whistle-blowers' settlement.

"It is the very reason why the Brown case was settled," Colombo said. "That made it a public document."