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Judge gives go-ahead to hearing on ousting Detroit mayor

  • Story Highlights
  • Hearing on Detroit mayor's removal can go forward, judge says
  • Kilpatrick challenged governor's petition, citing vagueness and charging bias
  • Mayor is facing charges that include perjury and misconduct in office
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(CNN) -- A governor's hearing on whether to remove Detroit, Michigan, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from office can go ahead Wednesday, a Wayne County judge has ruled, denying Kilpatrick's request for a delay.

Calls for the resignation of Detroit, Michigan, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick continue to mount.

Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski's decision came Tuesday morning in response to a petition filed by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm that cited a statute in the state constitution that allows the governor to remove an elected official if there is sufficient evidence that the official has been guilty of misconduct.

Kilpatrick challenged that petition, citing the vagueness of the statute and charging the governor with bias.

The mayor is facing charges that include perjury and misconduct in office in connection with his testimony in a trial last summer.

He was due back in court later Tuesday before Wayne County Judge David Groner on a motion to change his bond in response to assault charges stemming from a July 24 incident, a clerk for the judge said.

The incident occurred as two police officers were attempting to serve a subpoena on a friend of Kilpatrick and a potential witness in the perjury case, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said.

Cox alleged that an "irate and angry" Kilpatrick grabbed one of the officers, shoved him into the other officer and screamed at them using abusive language and "race-baiting statements."

Additionally, Kilpatrick was arrested on August 7 after a U.S. District judge learned that he had traveled to Canada on city business without notifying the court in advance as Judge Thomas Jackson had required as a condition of Kilpatrick being free on bond in the perjury case. Jackson reinstated the bond a day later with conditions that Kilpatrick not travel outside the three-county Detroit metropolitan area and be subject to GPS tracking.

The mayor's troubles first became public in January, when the Detroit Free Press reported he had exchanged romantic text messages with his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, indicating the two were involved in an extramarital relationship.

In testimony in a whistle-blower trial last summer, the pair, under oath, had denied any romantic attachment.

After the text messages were made public, Kilpatrick was charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and misconduct of office. Beatty also was charged with perjury, and both could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

CNN's Kristen Hamill contributed to this report

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