CHICAGO - The Detroit City Council yesterday narrowly approved a pair of proposals that would begin proceedings to force indicted Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from office.
The council voted 5 to 4 in favor of a proposal that would begin forfeiture of office proceedings against Kilpatrick, who faces eight felony counts stemming from testimony in a 2007 whistleblower's police trial. In a separate 5-to-4 vote, the council passed a proposal asking Gov. Jennifer Granholm to remove Kilpatrick from office.
Minutes after the vote, council member JoAnn Watson, who had acted as the swing vote in favor of the proposals, made a motion to reconsider after announcing she had received a note from Kilpatrick. Later however, after meeting with the mayor, Watson withdrew the motion to reconsider, letting the measures stand approved.
Deputy mayor Anthony Adams called the forfeiture measure "another meaningless gesture" by the council, which the administration maintains has no legal authority to remove the mayor.
The council's attorney, Bill Goodman, said it would take up to a year for the forfeiture proceedings to be completed. Granholm, who is recovering from recent surgery, has said in the past that she wants the criminal case against Kilpatrick to play out.
Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff Christine Beatty face a total of 12 felony counts for allegedly lying under oath about the nature of their relationship, their role in the firings of three police officers, and the conditions of an $8.4 million settlement between the city and the police officers.