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Racy texts contradict testimony from Detroit mayor, aide

  • Story Highlights
  • In police whistle-blower trial last summer, pair denied romance
  • But newspaper found romantic text messages on mayor's city-issued pager
  • No comment from county district attorney about possible perjury investigation
  • Detroit Free Press didn't explain how it obtained the messages
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(CNN) -- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick exchanged romantic text messages with his chief of staff, a discovery that contradicts the pair's testimony in a police whistle-blower trial last summer, the Detroit Free Press reports.

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Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick reportedly sent romantic texts to his chief of staff, contradicting earlier testimony.

The Wayne County district attorney's office would not comment on whether it would open an investigation into perjury charges. But Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy will hold a news conference Friday morning "regarding Kilpatrick and his chief of staff Christine Beatty.

The newspaper analyzed nearly 14,000 text messages on Beatty's city-issued pager and found that Kilpatrick and Beatty exchanged messages during 2002 and 2003 on a variety of issues, including their alleged affair.

"I'm madly in love with you," the married Kilpatrick wrote on October 3, 2002, the newspaper reported.

Beatty replied, "I hope you feel that way for a long time."

The newspaper said she added, "In case you haven't noticed, I am madly in love with you too!"

In another exchange, Beatty asked, "And did you miss me, sexually?"

Kilpatrick replied, "Hell yeah! You couldn't tell. I want some more," the newspaper reports.

The Detroit Free Press did not explain how the newspaper obtained the text messages, and investigative editor David Zeman tells CNN the paper will not disclose that information.

He said that SkyTel, the company the city government used for text messaging, had verified the messages' existence.

Attempts to reach the newspaper for further detail were not immediately returned.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, Kilpatrick said: "These five and six-year-old text messages reflect a very difficult period in my personal life. It is profoundly embarrassing to have these extremely private messages now displayed in such a public manner." Video Watch a report about the messages »

He added, "My wife and I worked our way through these intensely personal issues years ago. I would now ask that the public and the media respect the privacy of my wife and children and of Christine Beatty and her children at this deeply painful moment for our families."

In his testimony last August, Kilpatrick said he did not have a romantic relationship with Beatty. She also denied having an affair with the mayor in her testimony, according to the plaintiffs' lawyer and the Detroit Free Press.

The allegation they had an affair arose during the police whistle-blower trial last summer in Wayne County Circuit Court. Two police officers -- Deputy Chief Gary Brown and Officer Harold Nelthrope, a mayoral bodyguard -- were suing Kilpatrick and the city of Detroit.

Brown and Nelthrope alleged that Kilpatrick had retaliated against them for their roles in an internal investigation involving possible misconduct in Kilpatrick's security unit, court documents show.

Brown said Kilpatrick had fired him for investigating claims involving the mayor, his family and his friends, and Nelthrope said he had been transferred out of the mayor's security unit because he initially raised the misconduct allegations, the court documents said.

Kilpatrick and Beatty have said that Brown was not fired but was "unappointed." However, in one of the text messages published Thursday in the Detroit Free Press, Beatty referenced "the decision we made to fire Gary Brown."

Brown had directed the early internal investigation into the allegations regarding the mayor's security unit, after Nelthrope had contacted the police department's professional accountability bureau with his concerns, court documents said.

An investigation of some of Nelthrope's allegations against the mayor's security unit could have exposed Kilpatrick's affair with Beatty, court documents said. Some of claims centered on the alleged misconduct of two bodyguards; stating that they drank on the job, falsified time sheets and facilitated the mayor's infidelity, court documents said.

Asked for comment regarding the allegations of perjury, the mayor's spokesman, James Canning, referred to Kilpatrick's statement issued Wednesday and said, "That is the statement at the time, and there is no further comment."

Michael L. Stefani, the lawyer who represented Brown and Nelthrope in the whistle-blower case, said Thursday he and his clients are "pleased" that "proof has come in."

"We have been contending since this case started ... that the mayor and Christine Beatty have been lying," he said. "But we didn't have proof in black and white."

However, Stefani said he was able to show video clips during the trial to show the jury that the mayor was contradicting himself.

Stefani added, "We didn't bring this about ... it was the mayor and Ms. Beatty's doing.

"We're just glad that the truth is now out."

Stefani said both Brown and Nelthrope are still looking for employment. They're "both trying to repair their lives and their reputations," he said.

The summer trial ended the suit, which had lingered for more than four years in the court system. The jury issued a judgment against the city of $7.9 million including interest, Stefani said, but the city then agreed to a settlement involving Brown, Nelthrope and another related case for a combined $8.4 million.

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Kilpatrick and Beatty did not have to pay the settlement amount because the suit was related to their roles as city officials.

Kilpatrick took office as mayor in 2002, according to the biography on the mayor's Web site. A Detroit native, he and his wife, Carlita, have three children. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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