DETROIT (AP) — Disgraced former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick claims in an upcoming book that an unspoken alliance of political adversaries, Detroit business leaders and an aggressive media capitalized on a sex and perjury scandal to send him from leading one of America's largest cities to a prison cell.
The former politician bills "Surrendered! The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick" as the true tale of his saga. While he takes responsibility for an affair with an aide and lies he told during a civil trial, he also blames plenty of others for his downfall.
"When I perjured myself, I gave my enemies a lane. And they turned that lane into a highway," Kilpatrick writes, according to an advance copy obtained by The Associated Press. "My intent entering office was to empower Detroiters, and my actions heading into my second term suggested that we had the ability to do it. And that threatened too many people's bottom line. Their bottom lines for me, then, became simple. Get rid of me. And they're not finished."
Kilpatrick takes shots at aggressive Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who pursued criminal charges against him; judges who oversaw the criminal proceedings; former businessman and current Mayor Dave Bing, who suggested in 2008 that Kilpatrick step down; and former Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm who presided over a hearing that year into whether she should remove him from office.
Spokeswoman Maria Miller said Worthy had no comment about the book. Mayoral spokesman Dan Lijana said Bing also had no comment. Granholm's spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Kilpatrick resigned in disgrace and is still trying to blame others.
Kilpatrick, dubbed the "Hip-Hop Mayor" when he was elected at age 31, was charged with perjury after text messages on city-issued pagers contradicted testimony he gave during a 2007 police whistle-blowers' trial. The sexually explicit messages showed he lied when he denied under oath that he had a romantic relationship with one-time chief of staff Christine Beatty.
The rigors of being mayor, Kilpatrick writes, stressed his relationship with his wife, Carlita — "everything came second to Detroit," he laments — and pushed him closer to Beatty, his high school friend and longtime professional and personal confidante.
Kilpatrick says he wanted to keep the tryst secret from his wife, three sons and the city. He was forced to confess to his wife just before the texts were made public in January 2008.
"After a long pause, I told her about the text messages," he writes. "I also told her I'd learned earlier that the Detroit Free Press would soon publish a story revealing them to the public. She paused for what seemed like an eternity, and then said, 'I hate you.'"
Carlita Kilpatrick is given a handful of pages near the end of the book to have her own say. She uses them to describe the pain and anger she felt when her husband informed her about the affair.
"While I am apprehensive about the release of such personal, intimate details about our lives, my husband's betrayal and the subsequent sequence of events that bring us to this moment, I am hopeful this book releases me from the humiliation of the transgressions of my husband," she writes.
In a June interview with the AP, Kilpatrick said one of his reasons for writing the book was to show how his lying about the affair "was magnified and morphed into being something completely different than what it started as."
Beatty did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday from the AP.
Kilpatrick is open in the book about the affair and the falsehoods he told, even in front of the Wayne County Circuit Court judge who would decide his future.
"I stood before Judge David Groner, who requested my plea. 'I lied under oath,' I said, 'with the intent to mislead the court and jury and to impede and obstruct the fair administration of justice,'" Kilpatrick writes. "For the record, I lied when I made that statement. The real reason I lied under oath was because I didn't want my wife to know I cheated. But be clear. There was absolutely no justice to obstruct in the whistle-blowers' suit. The case was manufactured. I was just cornered."
Kilpatrick, 41, eventually pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and no contest to assault and served time in the county jail. Groner sent him to state prison last year for not adhering to the terms of his probation, which called for the truthful disclosure of his finances. The former mayor is set to be paroled within weeks.
Upon his release, though, Kilpatrick will need to prepare for a federal corruption trial. He faces charges including fraud, tax crimes and a racketeering conspiracy. An indictment describes a scheme in which Kilpatrick and his father allegedly took kickbacks and bribes to steer city business to certain contractors. Father and son have pleaded not guilty.
The book, co-written by Khary Turner, is set to be released Aug. 1. Groner has ruled that any book profits intended for Kilpatrick, his relatives or other agents must first be applied toward $860,000 in unpaid restitution to the city.
Mike Householder can be reached at http://twitter.com/mikehouseholder .
Corey Williams can be reached at http://twitter.com/CoreyAPReporter .
- Christine Beatty
- mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
- Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm
- no contest
- the Detroit Free Press