Kwame steps down; Ken Cockrel steps in as Mayor

The Kwame Kilpatrick show reached a climax yesterday, as the disgraced Mayor of Detroit decided to resign and plead guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and committing perjury as well as no contest to another.

“I lied under oath …”, he told Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner, “with the intent to mislead the court and jury and to impede and obstruct the fair adminstration of justice.”

Kwame accepts a deal that includes giving up his law license, five years probation, and in which he would not run for office during that time, and $1 million in restitution. He may be serving 100 out of his 120 days in jail, to which Kwame will be sentenced October 28 at 2pm; he’ll start directly over Christmas, and is expected to be out no later than January 27, 2009.

“We cannot tolerate in any form corruption in this town” states Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy. “Perjury is a serious charge. He finally took some responsibility today, but responsbility without consequences is only a slap on the hand. You have to have some consequences on your actions. You don’t just lose your job and walk away.”

But what about “the other woman”, Christine Beatty? The 38-year-old former chief of staff and mother of two, whose future is unknown, will return to court next Thursday for another hearing.

“She’s terrified” said Rev. Ronald L. Griffin, her pastor who went to court with her yesterday. “She’s terrified of all the consequences. Her life will never be the same. She lost her job. She dropped out of school. She cannot pay her legal bills. She lives with the shame, the humiliation.

“She’s not a hostage to this thing. She’s captive. She’s not a captive against her will, but captive by the circumstances of her own making. She knows what’s she done. But life will go on and she will heal.”

City Council President Kenneth V. Cockrel will be acting Mayor of Detroit when Kwame steps down on September 19, and he knows things are worse now but they will get better.

“This is a very sad day for the city of Detroit” he said. “But I think we also have to recognize it is also a day of hope and renewal.”

However, don`t expect Kwame to go away quietly – ’cause he plans to return to lead and right his wrongs as well as the city’s.

“I want to tell you, Detroit”, he states, “that you done set me up for a comeback.”

“We fall, but this city always get up.”