Wild party may have used city boats, lawyer says
The lawyer for a slain stripper said to have danced at a wild party at the mayoral Manoogian Mansion says in court documents that city-owned boats may have been used to ferry guests to the bash.
RBirmingham lawyer Norman Yatooma said in court papers filed late Tuesday that he has received “dozens of anonymous tips regarding the use of city owned boats to transport guests, exotic dancers, or both, to the Manoogian Mansion party in the fall of 2002.”
He said records the city has provided contain a “cryptic reference” to a “Mason McBride party” as well as “an apparently planned rendezvous of the city’s fire boat with a private charter boat — Infinity — near the Ambassador Bridge.”
But the city’s repeatedly failure to produce records has prevented him from finding out whether the tips are true, Yatooma said. For the second time in a month, he asked U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen to impose hefty sanctions, including a default judgment against the city in his lawsuit against the city, for failing to respond to legal requests for information.
There was no immediate response from the city.
Yatooma represents the children of Tamara Greene, 27, of Detroit, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in April 2003, some six months after supposedly dancing at the long-rumored party. The family sued the city and then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick five years ago, claiming they sabotaged her murder investigation so the killers would never be found.
The city and Kilpatrick have denied the allegations and have asked Rosen to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming there is no evidence to support the family’s claims. On Sunday, Yatooma filed a 131-page response, which included a new witness — a 37-year-old former stripper from Redford — who said she attended the party.
Yatooma said in Tuesday’s filing that the city had repeatedly dodged information requests and, by the city’s own admission, has allowed potentially crucial evidence — such as Kilpatrick’s work computer and e-mails — to be destroyed.