Kilpatrick: Cockrel given computer
Detroit — The mystery of Kwame Kilpatrick’s missing computer deepened Monday when the former mayor filed an affidavit saying it was given to his successor, Ken Cockrel Jr., upon his resignation in September 2008.
The desktop computer was handed down by Kilpatrick’s predecessor, Mayor Dennis Archer.
The revelation in a U.S. District Court affidavit contradicts what city lawyer John Schapka said last month involving a civil lawsuit filed by the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. Schapka said computers belonging to Kilpatrick and his former mistress, then-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, were thrown away and replaced in February 2008.
Cockrel does not remember Kilpatrick leaving a computer behind in the mayor’s office. The only computer equipment he inherited was a video display terminal.
“My recollection is when I moved into the mayor’s office, there was not a hard drive there,” Cockrel told The Detroit News.
Asked why Kilpatrick would claim otherwise, Cockrel said: “Ah, who knows. Who knows.”
Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma, playing off of Kilpatrick’s attorney’s criticism of a Yatooma witness in the Greene civil case, said: “I love it. Maybe Kwame Kilpatrick has a closed-head injury.”
A city spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The computers were thrown away, Schapka said, even though Kilpatrick was facing lawsuits over e-mails and text messages that ultimately led to his downfall.
A federal judge scheduled a hearing Dec. 1 before deciding whether to sanction the city for destroying Kilpatrick’s computer.
Yatooma has requested a default judgment against the city for intentionally throwing away Kilpatrick’s computer.
Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas said there should be no sanctions and faulted Yatooma for waiting years to request Kilpatrick’s e-mails.
U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen last month said he was troubled that computers may have been discarded.
“We’re all very troubled by the idea that they threw out the computers,” Yatooma said.