CHICAGO -Embattled Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick yesterday rejected calls from the City Council for his resignation over allegations that he lied under oath about an extramarital affair with his now former chief of staff.

The City Council, in a 7-to-1 vote, passed a nonbinding resolution requesting that the mayor step down because the scandal is interfering with city business. Kilpatrick's angry tirade in which he used a racial epithet last week in his state of the city address hastened the council's action. The resolution reads that there is growing sentiment among citizens that the council "stand firm against Mayor Kilpatrick and seek his resignation."

Like other calls to resign, Kilpatrick refused and issued the following statement through his press secretary, Denise Tolliver, that the council "is free to pass nonbinding resolutions, however while certain members have been playing judge and jury in the court of public opinion, Mayor Kilpatrick has continued to stay focused on advancing bold initiatives, such as his economic stimulus package."

Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has been investigating the allegations about Kilpatrick, is expected to announce next week whether or not the mayor will face charges for allegedly lying under oath in an attempt to cover up the affair with his former chief of staff Christine Beatty.

The two had denied the affair under oath in a whistle-blower's lawsuit, but text messages between the two obtained by the Detroit Free Press appear to contradict the testimony. A perjury charge is a felony and if he is charged and convicted, Kilpatrick would be forced to step down under city rules.

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