Charges Filed in Detroit Mayor Scandal

Brown was a former marine and decorated 26-year Detroit police veteran. He was new in the internal affairs job, but had spent 15 years in narcotics and had been shot by a drug dealer in the line of duty.

Nelthrope claimed bodyguards were padding their timesheets, drinking on duty, having accidents and not reporting them. Those complaints were easy to verify, Brown said.

"Nelthrope's complaints had some validity to them, although they needed to be investigated further, there was credibility to Nelthrope's complaints," Brown said.

"I never got the chance to launch the full investigation," Brown said. "I was fired by the mayor prior to being able to do that."

Brown says he was called into the police chief's office and handed a letter signed by Mayor Kilpatrick relieving him of his command.

"I was fired," he said. "I mean, when they bring you into an office on a Friday and take your gun and your badge and your keys and lock you out of your office and then send your belongings home in a box? You're fired."

The Tale of the Texts

Brown fought back, along with Nelthrope, taking their claims to court under the whistle-blower law, and opening a Pandora's Box of allegations against the mayor and members of his administration, including Beatty.

"It wasn't about officers padding the payroll and it wasn't about the crashed cars," Brown said. "It was about the mayor being concerned that if we started to do an investigation regarding those issues that the onion would start to unravel, and as we interviewed executive protection officers, that the affair that he was having with Christine Beatty might come up."

On the witness stand last fall, the mayor forcefully denied that Brown was fired at all, saying he was just demoted, and denied any inappropriate relationship with Beatty, but the jury found in favor of the whistle-blowers, awarding them $6.4 million.

Kilpatrick vowed to appeal, citing the racial makeup of the jury. Then, suddenly, in an abrupt turnabout, a settlement was reached for $8.4 million. Detroiters were left scratching their heads and counting their tax dollars.

Why settle? Because a trove of 14,000 text messages sent between Kilpatrick and Beatty on city-issued pagers was obtained by the whistle-blowers' lawyer, Mike Stefani. The text messages directly contradicted the mayor and Beatty's sworn testimony.

On the stand, Kilpatrick testified that he did not fire Gary Brown. Instead, he said Brown "chose to retire."

But in a text message dated May 15, 2003, 11:02 a.m., Beatty wrote: "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."

Kilpatrick replied: "True! It had to happen though. I'm all the way with that!"

As for the relationship between Beatty and Kilpatrick, there was this exchange. "I'm madly in love with you," Kilpatrick wrote on Oct. 3, 2002.

Beatty replied: "I hope you feel that way for a long time. In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you, too!"

The Truth Comes Out

The text messages were never introduced into court. But the Detroit Free Press obtained them and revealed them to a shocked city.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: A home damaged by a landslide Friday, April 18, 2014 in Jackson, Wyo. is shown in this aerial image provided by Tributary Environmental.
Tributary Environmental/AP Photo
null
Danny Martindale/Getty Images
PHOTO: Woman who received lab-grown vagina says she now has normal life.
Metropolitan Autonomous University and Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine