Kwame Kilpatrick – Whistleblower Trial

In August, 2007, Kilpatrick was sued by two ex-members of his bodyguard staff for violation of the Whistleblower Law. It was claimed that he fired them in retaliation for them investigating his personal actions. The trial ended on September 112007, after three hours of jury deliberation in a verdict awarding the plaintiffs $6.5 million in damages.

Minutes after the verdict for the trial came in, in an angry speech in front of City Hall, Kilpatrick blamed the “wrong verdict” on white suburbanite jurors. In a separate article, Kilpatrick is quoted as saying, “There’s race in this, and we run from it in this region. And I think it’s impossible for us to move forward as a region without confronting it head-on. But I don’t want what has happened in the past 24 months to be erased by what has happened in the last two days.”[20][21]

One member of the whistleblower trial jury took offense to the implication of Kilpatrick that jurors were racist, suburban liars. He said that he believed that the mayor and his chief of staff were liars, and that jurors were united from the moment they began their deliberations. In an interview , the juror is quoted in a September 12 Detroit Free Press article, calling Kilpatrick “a spoiled little brat who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar, was sent to the corner and is now pouting”.

According to a Detroit News October 12 article, the city of Detroit has already paid $525,000 in legal fees thus far in the Whistleblower trial.

On October 18, according to a Detroit Free Press article the next day, Kilpatrick decided to not appeal the verdict and offered an $8 million settlement to the two officers involved in the civil suit, and an additional $400,000 to a third officer who was ready to begin civil proceedings related to the whistleblower trial. Kilpatrick said “I’ve humbly concluded that a settlement … is the correct decision for my family and the entire Detroit community.”

According to an October 24 article in the Post Chronicle, the Detroit City Council voted to settle the pair of whistle-blower lawsuits against Kilpatrick for $8.4 million. In addition to the settlement, there was a confidentiality agreement signed between all parties in what many in the media are calling a ‘secret deal’. This was a confidentiality agreement that city of Detroit lawyers stated did not exist, but was later proven did exist. The Detroit Free Press sued under the freedom of information act to learn more about the October 2007 settlement. As of January 31st, 2008, details of the agreement are still being withheld pending a review by Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr.[22]

 

[via Detroit Free Press] 

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