February 28, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Kilpatrick says he won't resign

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick arrives at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center Thursday morning. (Ankur Dholakia / The Detroit News)

DETROIT -- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said Thursday afternoon he won't resign from office in the wake of the recent text message scandal.

"This is what I was born to do," the mayor said after visiting a group of senior citizens during his first public appearance since the release of secret documents related to three police whistle-blower cases that cost $8.4 million.

The mayor said he did nothing to mislead City Council or Detroit residents.

"There was no cover-up," Kilpatrick said.

Thursday afternoon, Detroit City Councilman Kwame Kenyatta introduced a resolution calling for Kilpatrick to resign.

Kilpatrick told WWJ earlier Thursday he was not worried about the Detroit City Council firing him because such talk was political rhetoric. He also said he has paid back the settlement amount through hard work for the city.

"I pay it back every day," he said. "When I go out and do an economic stimulus package for hundreds of millions of dollars. When I go find a way to do a deal on the (Detroit-Windsor) tunnel for $75 million dollars. … I work every day to make sure the city gets what it's owed."

On Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Kilpatrick preventing the release of remaining records in the case.

The papers illuminated the lengths to which Kilpatrick went to protect himself from disclosure of text messages he exchanged with his then Chief of Staff Christine Beatty. The documents clearly show that information about the whistle-blowers' settlement was kept from the council when it was asked to sign off on the deal.

The agreement also mentions explicit text messages showing a romantic relationship between the mayor and Beatty, both of whom testified under oath they did not have a relationship outside of work.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is investigating whether the mayor committed perjury during his testimony in the whistle-blower trial.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press filed suit to obtain the documents.

Earlier Thursday, Kilpatrick told radio station WWJ AM (950) that he has apologized for the situation and still has the trust of his family and city residents.

"My wife trusts me, my kids trust me and I think a great deal of citizens here (trust me, too)," he said. "What you can trust is that I'll be out there shoveling your snow, that I'll be fixing the streets up after the (snow) is all melted away."

When asked if he was sorry on WWJ, Kilpatrick said he "is for the city having to go through this" and that "at the end of it, there'll be a different conversation about the exact and specific facts of what happened and what didn't happen."

You can reach David Josar at (313) 222-2073 or djosar@detnews.com">djosar@detnews.com. Detroit News wire services contributed to this report.