Saturday, February 02, 2008

Detroit Low Down: Just when I thought Detroit had hit rock bottom, it blasts through the mantle and burrows deeper.

First, to the litany of "worsts" for the city we can now add Worst Place to Have a Baby thanks to Fit Pregnancy Magazine. My favorite quote: "Detroit received its best grades, D's, in the amount of access to hospitals..." If his best grade is a D, Kwame Kilpatrick needs to get called into Dean Wormer's office and put on double secret probation.

Second, speaking of Motown's good Irish mayor, let's review the timeline of his achievements, courtesy of the Detroit News:

  • January 2002: Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick takes office.
  • Fall 2002 : As the Manoogian Mansion remains unoccupied while renovations are being completed, rumors begin to surface of a wild party there and the mayor's wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, showing up unexpectedly and slapping a stripper.
  • March 2003 : Police Officer Harold Nelthrope, after being transferred out of the mayor's Executive Protection Unit, contacts the Police Department's Internal Affairs division about allegations of misconduct involving mayoral bodyguards Mike Martin and Greg Jones, as well as the Manoogian Mansion rumor.
  • March 2003 : Shortly after making the complaint, Nelthrope is called at home by Martin. Nelthrope said he begins to fear for his life.
  • March 2003 : Internal Affairs, headed by Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown, makes preliminary investigation into Nelthrope's allegations.
  • May 2003 : After a request from the mayor's of chief of staff, Christine Beatty, Brown prepares a two-page memo outlining misconduct by Martin and Jones. It does not mention the Manoogian rumor -- which is never substantiated -- but, in a separate memo, Brown writes he is prepared to look into those allegations if directed to by then-Police Chief Jerry Oliver.
  • May 2003 : A day or two after getting the memo from Oliver, Beatty claims she received a short, unsigned note saying Brown is not to be trusted. She shreds the note. The mayor, without consulting with the police chief, demotes Brown.
  • June 2003 : A whistleblower lawsuit is filed against the city and Kilpatrick by Brown and Nelthrope.
  • August 2007: Both Beatty and the mayor testify during trial that they did not have a romantic relationship.
  • September 2007 : Following a trial -- and testimony alleging misbehavior by the mayor as well as his bodyguards -- a jury awards Nelthrope and Brown $6.5 million in damages.

The latest: After swearing under oath that he was not dallying with his Chief of Staff, Christine Beatty, thousand of text messages surfaced featuring a lot of dirty talk and tryst arranging between hizzoner and Beatty. Beatty has resigned and Kwame went into hiding for a couple of days then emerged to say, "Hey, sorry, man."

Beatty's replacement, Kandia Milton, brings a bit of baggage himself. Again, per the Detroit News: "According to the bankruptcy records that Milton and his wife Lisa filed in August 2006, they owed more than $388,000 to a variety of creditors, including mortgages on three properties, a $1,305 bill from DTE Energy, $18,000 for 12 credit cards, $1,080 in Detroit parking tickets and more than $1,000 in Wayne County property taxes." Even after bankruptcy, they are still over $9000 in the hole in back taxes. Yeah, this oughtta work out well.

Just in case you were wondering, this is not a treatment for a new screenplay from David Simon. It's actually happening.

Next, just to add a little bit of weirdness, the only recent organization to relocate into the city is the Scientologists. This will be the ultimate challenge for the followers of L. Ron. I don't hold out much hope for them. The City of Detroit has devoured far more worthy and dedicated tenants. I'd lay odds they all end up in psychotherapy.

Lastly, to add absurdity on top of weirdness, Eminem, the most successful Detroit singer since Diana Ross, has apparently taken to shoveling cake down his pie-hole at an alarming rate, ballooning to over 200 pounds. I guess we can start calling him the Real Fat Shady. Guess who's fat? Fat and round. Shady's fat... (I'm having too much fun with this.)

Ah yes, Detroit just keeps on giving. Onward and downward!