Detroit Mayor: Text Message Scandal Hurts City's Image, Not Operations

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said Friday that a text messaging sex scandal involving him and a former aide has hurt the city's image but has not interfered with its daily operations.

Kilpatrick's comments came at a ribbon-cutting for a refurbished trash drop-off facility. It was the first time he had taken questions from the media since the Detroit Free Press broke the text messaging story last week.

"The events of the last week have had an incredible impact on the city, and I believe in a negative way, from the large amounts of press, national press," Kilpatrick said. But, he noted, the city continues to run.

Kilpatrick also said that his office will comply with any requests by the City Council for financial records from his first six years as mayor. The council may vote Tuesday on whether to start an audit of Kilpatrick's office.

A prosecutor is investigating whether the mayor and chief of staff Christine Beatty lied on the stand during a whistle-blower's lawsuit last summer in which both denied having a physical relationship. The questioning was tied to allegations that the mayor used his security guards to cover up extramarital affairs.

Kilpatrick said Friday he was paying his own legal fees, not the city.

In court, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having a physical relationship, but the text messages that came to light last week reveal that they carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their trysts.

Kilpatrick wrote Beatty in 2002: "I've been dreaming all day about having you all to myself for 3 days. Relaxing, laughing, talking, sleeping and making love."

On Monday, Beatty announced she would resign. She will not receive a severance package from the city, mayor's spokesman James Canning said Friday.

Kilpatrick made a televised speech Wednesday apologizing to family and constituents but avoiding direct mention of the allegations. His wife, Carlita, sat by his side. He returned to work Thursday morning after a weeklong, self-imposed exile.