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Judge says Detroit mayor didn't violate bond, doesn't jail him

  • Story Highlights
  • Judge rules Kilpatrick didn't violate bond during visit with sister
  • Contact with sister, who's also a witness, not a violation, judge says
  • Kilpatrick spent night in jail last week after judge found he violated bond
  • He was ordered freed Friday but had to wear tracking device, avoid witnesses
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(CNN) -- The same judge who last week sent embattled Detroit, Michigan, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to jail for a night refused to jail him Tuesday.

Kilpatrick spent a night in jail for violating bond last week and faced the same charge this week.

Prosecutors said Kilpatrick again violated conditions of his bond by visiting with his sister over the weekend.

"We believe the mayor has contempt for this investigation and the investigators, urging others not to cooperate," prosecutor Doug Baker said.

District Judge Ronald Giles disagreed. He ruled that that Kilpatrick's contact with his sister did not qualify as a violation, even though she is a potential witness in an assault case against the mayor.

Giles ordered Kilpatrick jailed Thursday after learning that the mayor had traveled to Canada on Detroit business without notifying the court in advance, as required under terms of his bond. The mayor spent a night in jail before a circuit court judge allowed him to be released on a $50,000 cash bond.

The most recent bond violation allegation was filed in connection with an assault case. Kilpatrick was charged Friday with two felony counts of assaulting a police officer July 24, as officers were attempting to serve a friend of Kilpatrick's with a subpoena.

As part of his bond conditions, Wayne County Circuit Court Magistrate Renee McDufee said, Kilpatrick was to have no contact with witnesses.

However, according to defense attorneys, McDufee said Kilpatrick's family members were not included in that provision. Baker said he does not recall that conversation.

"It's what the judge states on the record in open court," he said. "There was a statement that there was no contact with the witnesses in our case."

Giles said Kilpatrick's sister clearly had no problem spending time with her brother. In response to Baker's statement that another potential witness had expressed fear of Kilpatrick, Giles added that woman's name to the list of those Kilpatrick is not to have contact with. Asked who the woman is, Baker would not elaborate to reporters.

Kilpatrick attorney Dan Webb said he did not know the specifics regarding the woman but said Kilpatrick would comply with the order.

As to Baker's allegations regarding Kilpatrick's sister, "this motion never should have been filed in the first place," Webb said. "It had no merit."

Kilpatrick has remained defiant and rejected calls for his resignation from critics, including the president of the Detroit City Council. However, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, acting under a little-used state law allowing the governor to remove city officials under certain circumstances, has set a September 3 hearing that could result in his removal.

Kilpatrick has been embroiled in a public scandal since January, when the Detroit Free Press reported that he had exchanged romantic text messages with his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, indicating that the two were involved in an affair. In testimony in a whistle blower trial last summer, the pair, under oath, had denied any romantic attachment.

Beatty resigned her post after the text messages were made public.

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Kilpatrick is facing charges of perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct of office in connection with his testimony in the whistle blower trial.

On Thursday, Kilpatrick and Beatty waived their preliminary hearing and were bound over to stand trial in circuit court. If convicted, both would face a maximum of 15 years in prison.

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