Kilpatrick, Beatty, others to testify about missing e-mails in Greene case

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Detroit — Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his former mistress and several current and former city officials are expected to testify during a hearing next month in a civil lawsuit filed by the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene, a federal judge decided today.

Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma is trying to prove whether Kilpatrick or the city intentionally destroyed e-mails that could shed light on the woman’s unsolved killing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen set a March 7 evidentiary hearing to determine if e-mails were intentionally destroyed and to decide whether Yatooma can hire an expert to examine computer hard drives belonging to Kilpatrick and the city. The hearing could stretch into a second day and feature testimony from Christine Beatty, Kilpatrick’s former mistress and chief of staff, Yatooma said.

Beatty, who is living in Georgia, is expected to testify via telephone or video, Yatooma said.

Also expected to testify: former Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings; ex-Detroit Corporation Counsel Ruth Carter, who is now a 36th District judge; two former Kilpatrick bodyguards, and John Johnson, who formerly headed the city’s law department.

“We obviously don’t trust them as far as we can throw them,” Yatooma said outside court today.

Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas could not be reached immediately for comment today. Krystal Crittendon, head of the city’s law department, declined comment today.

Yatooma has accused city lawyers of failing to turn over computer hard drives and thumb drives containing files belonging to Kilpatrick. Yatooma is trying to determine whether there’s any evidence that the former mayor or the city obstructed the investigation into Greene’s unsolved death.

Greene family lawyers are trying to find e-mails received and sent by Kilpatrick and others from September 2002 through June 2003.

The woman, who allegedly danced at a rumored but never proven party at the Manoogian Mansion, was killed in an unsolved drive-by shooting in 2003.

The city and Thomas have asked Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen to dismiss the lawsuit.

Kilpatrick was indicted by a federal grand jury in December, accused of orchestrating a racketeering scheme involving Detroit Water and Sewerage Department contracts.

http://www.detnews.com/article/20110214/METRO01/102140385/Kilpatrick–Beatty–others-to-testify-about-missing-e-mails-in-Greene-case

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