CHICAGO - Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was expected to plead guilty to felony charges this morning as part of a deal that likely will result in the once-popular young mayor resigning from office and possibly serving jail time.
Kilpatrick faces 10 felony counts in two separate criminal trials. An assistant Wayne County prosecutor late yesterday reportedly sent out an email saying that the mayor would plead guilty to at least some of the eight felonies he faces stemming from testimony in a 2007 police whistleblower trial. The email said Kilpatrick would plead guilty late yesterday, but the appearance in court was later delayed until this morning.
It was unclear whether the mayor was also negotiating to plead guilty on two separate felony assault charges from a July run-in with a sheriff's deputy. The report of a plea deal could not be confirmed beyond the initial e-mail and a scheduled court appearance in the morning.
The plea deal would come a day after Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm heard potentially devastating testimony from several witnesses during a historic hearing on whether to remove the mayor from office. The hearing began yesterday and was expected to last several days.
The mayor will appear before Judge David Groner in the criminal division of the Wayne Count Circuit Court at 9 a.m. this morning.
Over the weekend, the Detroit Free Press reported that Kilpatrick had agreed to plead guilty to at least two felonies, resign from office, pay significant restitution, serve up to five years probation, not run for office for two years, and sign over his pension to the city. That offer however did not include jail time, while the Wayne County prosecutor's office was reportedly insisting on at least 60 days of jail time.