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September 04, 2008

Big news out of Detroit

Embattled and scandal-plagued Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has agreed to step down as part of a plea deal where he admitted to lying under oath.

From the Detroit News:

In four short words, Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick acknowledged his guilt this morning, admitting that he lied during the whistleblower case brought by two former police officers who claimed they were punished for looking into wrongdoing by the mayor's staff.

"I lied under oath," Kilpatrick said after he pleaded guilty to two felonies, a plea that will require him to spend four months in the Wayne County jail, to resign his office and to pay $1 million in restitution.

Kilpatrick will also agree not to seek office during the five years he is on probation and will surrender his state pension to the county. He will also surrender his law license.

"We did not give an inch," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who said the deal is what she had sought "pretty much" from the beginning. She said Kilpatrick will enter the jail when he is sentenced, scheduled for Oct. 28.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, Wayne County prosecutors will drop the remaining six charges against him — including the perjury counts — and agree to not prosecute him for other issues that arise from the investigation into the perjury and obstruction of justice case.

Kwame Kilpatrick is the son of Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich), the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. She barely won the Democratic primary last month against two opponents who made her son's ethical problems the centerpiece of their campaigns.

UPDATE: After staying silent on the Kilpatrick scandal as it unfolded, Obama called for the mayor's resignation last night in a statement put out by the campaign.

"Sen. Obama believes that Mayor Kilpatrick's ongoing troubles and the serious charges against him have been a distraction that the city cannot afford," Obama spokesman Brent Colburn said late Wednesday night .

"He believes it is time for the mayor to step aside so that the city can move forward and get back to business."