February 15, 2008 at 1:00 am

Kilpatrick recall effort launched

DETROIT -- An effort to recall Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was filed with the Wayne County Clerk Friday afternoon.

Detroiter Douglas Johnson, a candidate for City Council in next year' election, filed six recall petitions, listing separate reasons why he believes Kilpatrick should be removed from office. He cited the recent scandal over the $8.4 million whistle-blower settlements and other controversies surrounding Kilpatrick, including the Lincoln Navigator leased by the police department to chauffeur his wife, and his use of his city credit card.

"He has damaged the city dramatically," Johnson said. "That is the only way the city will start to recover."

Johnson's recall language must first be approved for clarity by the Wayne County Election Commission before he can start gathering signatures from registered voters.

Then he'll have 180 days to gather the required signatures -- 25 percent of the number of city residents who cast their vote for the governor in the last election, or just under 57,000 signatures.

If enough valid signatures are collected, a recall election will be scheduled.

Johnson, 42, is a paralegal and recently moved back to Detroit from Sterling Heights. He said likeminded Detroiters can contact him at his Web site, http://www.douglasjohnsonforchange.com">www.douglasjohnsonforchange.com.

The courts and Johnson's recall effort aren't the only fronts on which Kilpatrick finds himself playing defense.

At least one complaint regarding Kilpatrick has been filed with the city's Board of Ethics. Board members are expected to take up the Kilpatrick complaint at their next meeting, Tuesday.

Anyone can file a complaint with the board, which was established to uphold standards of conduct and disclosure requirements of public servants.

If the board finds the mayor violated the ethics ordinance, it could publicly admonish him or refer the investigation to the city council to potentially remove Kilpatrick from office.

You can reach Christine MacDonald at (313) 222-2396 or cmacdonald@detnews.com">cmacdonald@detnews.com.