Emails and text-messages have now brought down one of the most powerful prosecutors in the country and may soon lead to criminal charges against the Mayor of Detroit. Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal resigned this week after his emails were revealed in a police abuse case. In the meantime, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has appealed the release of his text messages in a case involving police whistleblowers. He has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to protect what remains of his privacy and political future. It is death by blackberry and plenty are politicians across the country are watching and wincing at the scandals.
Kilpatrick’s latest legal move is unlikely to make much a difference beyond adding to the millions of public dollars that he has already spent to conceal the apparent affair with his former aide. He and the aide denied the affair under oath before the media disclosed explicit and damning messages sent between them. For the prior story, click here
Rosenthal blames medications for his own emailing problems, including disclosure of an apparent affair: “Although I have enjoyed excellent medical and pharmacological treatment, I have come to learn that the particular combination of drugs prescribed for me in the past has caused some impairment in my judgment. This position is much too important for anyone to be less than their best. I am currently in a different regimen of therapy from different health care professionals and am looking forward to concentrating on the restoration of my health.”
Rosenthal’s e-mails were disclosed as part of a lawsuit by two brother who claim that sheriff deputies beat them while they tried to photograph a drug raid at a neighbor’s home in 2002. Beyond the romantic messages with an assistant, the e-mails
contained racist messages, including a photograph of a black man lying on the ground with watermelon and a bucket of chicken surrounding him — with a caption reading “fatal overdose.”
In the Detroit case, local pols appear to be finally getting tired of spending money to protect the mayor from perjury charges and political scandal. The mayor recently staged a public apology in a church, click here. However, if the prosecutors do not indict him on this evidence, there would be a firestorm of controversy. It is hard to imagine a stronger perjury case or a less redeeming defendant. Kilpatrick told a jury that, if the allegation were true, his aide would be little more than a “whore.” He then waxed indignant over the very suggestion as an attack on all women. Assuming the trial is held outside of Detroit, where he remains weirdly still popular with some voters, it should make for an easy conviction.