DETROIT - Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a one-time rising star and as Detroit's youngest elected leader, was charged Monday with perjury and other counts after sexually explicit text messages surfaced that appear to contradict 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 shared a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice.
In all, Worthy authorized a 12-count criminal information.
"This case was about as far from being a private matter as one can get. Honesty and integrity in the justice system is everything. That is what this case is about," Worthy said at a news conference.
"Just when did honesty and integrity, truth and honor become traits to be mocked, downplayed, ignored, laughed at or excuses made for them? When did telling the truth become a supporting player to everything else?"
A perjury conviction could bring up to 15 years' imprisonment and force Kilpatrick to relinquish the mayor's office.
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.
The messages contradict statements Kilpatrick and Beatty gave under oath during a whistleblowers' trial last summer when each denied a romantic relationship.
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