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Ex-mayoral aide pleads guilty in Detroit scandal

  • Story Highlights
  • Christine Beatty pleads guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice
  • Chief of staff for former Detroit, Michigan, mayor will serve four months in jail
  • She gets probation, $100,000 fine; perjury, misconduct charges to be dropped
  • Charges stemmed from text-messaging sex scandal involving mayor
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(CNN) -- Christine Beatty, chief of staff for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from their text-messaging sex scandal case and will serve four months in jail, according to the Wayne County prosecutor's office.

Under a plea deal, Christine Beatty, shown in August at an arraignment in Detroit, will serve five years probation.

Under a plea deal, Christine Beatty, shown in August at an arraignment in Detroit, will serve five years probation.

Beatty pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, according to Maria Miller, the prosecutor's spokeswoman. Charges of perjury and misconduct against Beatty will be dropped as part of the plea arrangement, she said.

Beatty agreed to a plea arrangement under which she will serve five years probation -- the first 120 days to be served in jail -- and pay a $100,000 fine, "based on [Beatty's] ability to pay," Miller said.

Beatty will begin serving her jail sentence on January 5, when she will be formally sentenced, Miller said.

Kym L. Worthy, prosecuting attorney for Wayne County, released a statement saying she is "very pleased that this defendant admitted her guilt."

"We live in an age where greed and protecting one's secrets is glorified and accepted," Worthy said. "Now the city of Detroit, the region and the state of Michigan can truly begin to move forward when this ugly chapter in Detroit's history is put to rest."

In September, Kilpatrick resigned as mayor and pleaded guilty to two felony obstruction of justice charges stemming from his efforts to cover up his relationship with Beatty.

Like Beatty, Kilpatrick was sentenced to five years probation with the first four months to be served in jail. He is serving that sentence in the Wayne County jail.

At the time of his sentencing in October, the judge in the case called Kilpatrick "arrogant and defiant," particularly for a televised speech that aired hours after Kilpatrick entered his pleas.

"That night, the community expected to hear a message of humility, remorse and apology," Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner said at Kilpatrick's sentencing. "Instead, we heard an arrogant and defiant man who accused the governor, among others, for his downfall."

In addition to his jail and probation sentence, Kilpatrick must also pay the city of Detroit $1 million in restitution, and forfeit any future pension.

Initially, Kilpatrick was accused of blocking a criminal investigation into his office and firing a police deputy to cover up an affair with Beatty, then his chief of staff.

When that deputy, Gary Brown, filed a whistle-blower suit, Kilpatrick and Beatty denied under oath that an affair had taken place between them.

Text messages that contradicted Kilpatrick's and Beatty's denials of an affair were made public in January by the Detroit Free Press, and county prosecutor Worthy charged Kilpatrick and Beatty with multiple counts of perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.

The most serious charges would have carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison upon conviction.

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

Kilpatrick initially refused to resign after the scandal broke, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm called a hearing on whether she should remove him from office at the request of the Detroit City Council. Granholm adjourned those hearings after Kilpatrick pleaded guilty and resigned in September.

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