Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and Detroit's youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages contradicted his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also charged the popular yet polarizing 37-year-old mayor with obstruction of justice and misconduct in office.
Former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, 37, who also denied under oath that she and Kilpatrick had a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
"Some have suggested that the issues in this case are personal or private," Worthy said.
The charges could signal the end of Kilpatrick's six-year career as mayor of one of America's largest cities.
Perjury is a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. But for Kilpatrick, a conviction also would mean his immediate expulsion from office. The Detroit City Charter calls for any elected official convicted of a felony while in office to be memoved.
Kilpatrick has said he would not resign and last week said he expects to be vindicated when all aspects of the scandal are made public.
The mayor was expected to hold a news conference at noon. Worthy said she expected the mayor and Beatty to turn themselves in by 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Worthy has said she and her staff have pored over more than 40,000 pages of documents since January, when the Detroit Free Press published excerpts of sexually explicit text messages sent to Beatty's city-issued pager in 2002 and 2003.
Ten paragraphs and the AP can't bother to identify which political party this sleazeball belongs to? (Photo credit: Time)