February 29, 2008 at 7:37 pm

Detroit City Council member may ask Granholm to remove Mayor Kilpatrick

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has said he has no intention of resigning from office over the growing text message scandal. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

DETROIT -- Councilman Kwame Kenyatta said Friday in a statement that the city charter doesn't allow the council to remove Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, even if council passes Kenyatta's resolution calling on Kilpatrick to resign.

But, the councilman plans on forwarding the resolution, if passed, to Gov. Jennifer Granholm for possible action.

A rarely used state law gives the governor the power to remove city leaders for official misconduct, willful neglect of duty and other offenses.

On Thursday, Granholm's office said it wouldn't speculate on what could happen.

In January, the Kalamazoo County commissioners asked Granholm to invoke the law and remove the county drain commissioner, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of extortion of a public official. Granholm's office told the commission to have lawyers review the matter.

The law was passed in 1954 and amended in 1982 and says the governor can invoke the removal when "satisfied from sufficient evidence" that the official is guilty of the offense.

Kilpatrick has been the center of controversy since text messages surfaced that appear to contradict testimony he gave last year in court about whether he had an affair with his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, and fired officers who were investigating his behavior.

Earlier this week, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected Kilpatrick's last-ditch effort to shroud a secret deal that ended an $8.4 million whistle-blowers action against the city after documents revealed the mayor and city attorneys maneuvered to conceal details from the City Council and the public.

The City Council voted unanimously Friday on three issues, dealing with the recent mayor scandal.

The council voted in a special session to waive confidentiality surrounding their minutes from a closed session Sept. 19, when they discussed the police whistle-blower lawsuits.

That move could require going to court to officially waive the minutes' confidentiality because they were taken during a closed session.

The council also voted to waive any privacy surrounding a summary of the two whistle-blower lawsuits submitted to council Oct. 18 by the law department, urging the council to settle the case.

Thirdly, the council voted to hold a closed session to discuss a plan put together by their attorney, William Goodman, in regards to how they should respond to the scandal.

The council could subpoena witnesses in their investigation of why Kilpatrick's staff did not tell them of the confidentiality agreement with the officers. The council also could pursue sanctions against city attorneys found to have withheld information from it.

Three council members were not present: Monica Conyers, Barbara-Rose Collins and Martha Reeves.

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

The City Council will meet in closed session with attorney William Goodman ... (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Detroit City Council member Kwame Kenyatta introduces a resolution calling ... (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)