Judge to answer questions in Tamara Greene case
Following a federal judge’s order, 36th District Court Judge Ruth Carter will meet with attorney Norman Yatooma at noon Thursday to answer more questions in a lawsuit involving Tamara Greene, a slain stripper said to have danced at a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion.
Carter, a non-party witness in the case, will be deposed on the following topic: text messages Carter exchanged with then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2003 about the possible benefits of Attorney General Mike Cox conducting an investigation into the rumored party. At the time, Carter was director of the Detroit Law Department.
“Talking to the head of the law department is pretty critical,” said Yatooma, who is representing Greene’s family, which claims the city and Kilpatrick derailed her murder investigation to protect the killers. “They’ve done everything they can to avoid (Carter’s) deposition from being continued, so I’m glad it’s finally going to happen.”
Carter’s lawyer, Gabi Silver, adamantly denied that her client was part of any delay tactic.
“Judge Carter has never refused to answer questions, ever,” said Silver, who also doubts that her client will offer any new, helpful information to Yatooma tomorrow. “On his makeup lawsuit? No, I don’t think so.”
On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen — at Yatooma’s request — ordered Carter to appear for her continued deposition by Friday after she missed a Nov. 1 deposition because her lawyer had a death in the family.
“It remains vitally important that this deposition be concluded as promptly as possible,” Rosen wrote, noting that Greene’s lawyers are facing a Nov. 10 deadline to respond to requests by the city and Kilpatrick to dismiss the lawsuit.
The city and Kilpatrick have denied charges of a cover-up.
Last month, Rosen had ordered Carter to answer several questions that Kilpatrick’s lawyer, James Thomas, advised her not to answer in a deposition in August in the lawsuit. Rosen held that Thomas failed to establish a basis for claiming an attorney-client privilege to prevent Carter from answering questions.
Greene, 27, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2003, about six months after supposedly dancing at the rumored party. Cox, after an investigation, dismissed the party rumor as an urban legend.