The Motor City is revved up over fresh allegations of wrong-doing regarding the city’s mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, who was in Asheville one week ago to deliver the keynote address to a crowd at our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast event. The latest allegations threaten to tarnish that event and have our own mayor, Terry Bellamy, back-peddling as fast as she can.

In this blog post on Monday, Ashvegas questioned why Bellamy sought out Kilpatrick as a speaker, noting that he was Time magazine’s pick for one of the worst mayors in the U.S. in 2005. Kilpatrick said over and over in his speech last week that Bellamy personally invited him to the event, and in fact “insisted,” that he come to town to speak. Bellamy said Friday that she only suggested Kilpatrick’s name to the local MLK Association committee, and they made the final decision.

Yeah, right.

But back to the story:

The Detroit Free Press newspaper yesterday got hold of text messages that appear to be evidence of an affair between Kilpatrick and his top aide, an affair that those two denied, under oath, in court. Their denials came during a trial in which two former Detroit police officers claimed that Kilpatrick and the city wrongfully fired them. The police officers won an $8.4 million settlement.

As the story developed yesterday, the Detroit papers and television stations went looking for Kilpatrick. They said he was hiding out in a Florida home he bought last year. But while they were sniffing around, they also discovered that Kilpatrick enjoyed the “couple’s retreat package” at the Grove Park Inn, (where the breakfast was held) with a woman other than his wife.

Detroit TV station WXYZ reported that Kilpatrick and a woman not his wife, identified as “Carmen Slowski,” “enjoyed an hour-long massage together in the same room before relaxing in a two-person aromatic whirlpool bath together. Included in the $504 package: chocolate covered strawberries and champagne to wash it down. A few hours earlier, the mayor was alone for a deep tissue massage billed at $264.”

In this Citizen-Times story today, our Asheville mayor says she picked up Kilpatrick at the airport, saw him at the breakfast and later for dinner, and said he was always alone.

Bellamy said she didn’t want to comment on recent allegations that Kilpatrick lied about a sexual relationship with his chief of staff during a trial last summer.
Those problems and the speech he gave Saturday about the need to focus on the community’s children were “two different things,” she said.

Bellamy said she knew nothing about Kilpatrick’s problems. This is hard to imagine, since Bellamy runs in the same circles that include mayors from cities across the U.S., and people talk. Bellamy apparently first met Kilpatrick at a mayor’s conference – that’s where she was first impressed with him, and that first impression led her to practically beg him to come to Asheville to speak.

That’s just plain ol’ bad judgement.

How can you not know about the series of allegations that have dogged Kilpatrick for years? As I said in my previous post, it took me about five minutes with an interweb search engine called Google to learn that this guy might not be the person to hold up as a community role model on MLK weekend in our fair city. We should have done better.

Here are links for you to explore:

Detroit Free Press investigation

Detroit Free Press video explainer of the controversy.

Detroit residents call for Kilpatrick’s resignation.

Free Press video of announcement of investigation in possible perjury on the part of Kilpatrick.

Anyone can file a complaint with the board if the person believes a city official has broken the city’s ethics ordinance.

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2 Comments

  1. Don’t blame the Mayor or the MLK Association. Consider the pool they had to pick from.

  2. What is that wise old saying about laying down with dogs…?

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