Published July 25, 2008
DETROIT – A judge struck down the conditions of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's bond on Friday, ordering him to pay $7,500 and undergo random drug testing following allegations he berated and attacked investigators trying to serve a subpoena to a close friend of the mayor.
District Court Judge Ronald Giles' ruling came after the two investigators with the county prosecutor's office testified an irate Kilpatrick launched into a profanity-laced tirade and shoved one of them as they tried to serve the subpoena to Detroit businessman Bobby Ferguson on Thursday.
Kilpatrick's previous bond was $75,000, but he was not required to pay. Now, he owes 10 percent.
Kilpatrick and his former top aide, Christine Beatty, are charged with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice, all tied to their testimony in a civil trial last year.
The mayor also was ordered to undergo random drug testing and no longer is permitted any personal travel outside Michigan, nor can he travel on business outside the state without the court's approval.
"I see the behavior as totally irrational," Giles said. "I don't know what was going on in defendant Kilpatrick's life that he exploded, for want of a better term. This is ridiculous."
Giles said Kilpatrick's behavior constitutes harassment.
"I have locked up defendants for approaching and saying such things to witnesses for a lot less," he said.
After the hearing, Kilpatrick walked out of court and declined comment. A bail bondsman assisted him in paying the $7,500.
James Thomas, one of Kilpatrick's lawyers, said there was no pushing or shoving by the mayor. Another Kilpatrick attorney, Jim Parkman, said there was a credibility problem because the officers told different versions of the incident.
Detective Brian White testified at Friday's hearing that Kilpatrick hurled profanities at, grabbed and threw him into fellow investigator JoAnne Kinney.
"He barreled through the door. He grabbed me and threw me," White said.
White testified he heard a voice he later identified as Kilpatrick coming from inside the house, saying "Don't tell those (expletive) anything. Get the (expletive) out of here."
White said Kilpatrick then stormed out of the house, grabbed him and threw him into Kinney. He testified he had X-rays taken at a local hospital, and he might have suffered a slight hip fracture.
The investigators had gone to the home of Kilpatrick's sister, Ayanna, and her husband, Daniel Ferguson, to deliver a subpoena to Bobby Ferguson, Daniel Ferguson's relative and Kilpatrick's close friend. Bobby Ferguson is on the list of witnesses Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy expects to call for the mayor's criminal trial.
White said they had not intended to deliver the subpoena to Bobby Ferguson at that time, but were in the neighborhood delivering another subpoena and saw a pickup truck with "Ferguson Construction" on the door. He said he checked the address and approached the home.
"It happened so fast. We were just trying to find Bobby Ferguson," said Kinney, who like White is an investigator with the prosecutor's office. "I couldn't believe this was happening. ... He was irate, very mad, upset."
Kinney, a black woman, also testified that Kilpatrick criticized her for working with White, who is white.
"`You should be ashamed of yourself,"' she quoted Kilpatrick as saying. "`Why are you a part of this?"'
Kilpatrick is black.
White testified Kilpatrick said: "`You shouldn't even be riding in a car with a guy named White."'
Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans has said Michigan State Police will investigate Thursday's incident.
Following the hearing, Thomas disputed that Kilpatrick uttered a profanity during Thursday's incident, but declined to discuss it further.
"We don't have to talk about the facts unless there's a charge," he said.
Earlier in Friday's hearing, Giles decided to postpone a ruling over whether to release to the public more text messages that have embarrassed Kilpatrick and preceded the criminal charges against him.
During a whistle-blowers' trial last summer, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied having a romantic relationship, but those claims are contradicted by text messages already released.
Kilpatrick and Beatty deny the charges.
Giles said he wanted to hear arguments at a future court proceeding over which messages are covered by various privileges.