DETROIT – Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick approved a secret agreement to keep confidential intimate and sometimes sexually explicit text messages with his chief of staff in an $8.4 million whistle-blower settlement, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News reported yesterday.
The newspapers said Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty signed a confidential agreement that would conceal the text messages as part of the city’s settlement of the lawsuit.
Under the agreement, Michael Stefani, lawyer for two former officers in last summer’s lawsuit, would surrender all original records and copies of those records from the city’s communications provider, SkyTel, the newspapers said.
Those messages show that Kilpatrick and Beatty had an intimate, physical relationship in 2002-03, something they both denied under oath during the whistle-blower’s lawsuit.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Colombo Jr. has ordered the release of a number of documents involving the lawsuit settlement and a deposition of Stefani by attorneys for the Free Press and News.
The city yesterday appealed the release of some of the documents and the deposition to the state appeals court, but agreed to make some of the documents public.
Sharon McPhail, the mayor’s legal adviser, denied yesterday there was a secret deal.
“In fact, no secret deals exist or have ever existed,” she said.