Bernard Kilpatrick ordered to attend contempt of court hearing

A federal judge ordered Bernard Kilpatrick and his lawyer to appear for a contempt of court hearing in Detroit on Aug. 31 to explain why he failed to show up last Thursday for a deposition in the lawsuit resulting from the death of a stripper who supposedly danced at a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion.

“Mr. Kilpatrick and his counsel have manifestly failed to identify any valid excuse for Mr. Kilpatrick’s failure to obey the subpoena that was properly delivered to his counsel,” U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said in a 5-page order this morning.

He also is considering Birmingham Attorney Norman Yatooma’s request for sanctions for Kilpatrick’s failure to appear for a deposition in Ft. Worth.

Rosen said Kilpatrick and his lawyer, Bobbie Gray Edmonds of Ft. Worth, could avoid the Aug. 31 court hearing if Kilpatrick appears for a deposition.

Yatooma represents the family of Tamara Greene, 27, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Detroit in April 2003, several months after she supposedly danced at the long rumored but never proven party where a stripper was supposedly attacked by the wife of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Her family sued the city and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick saying Detroit police deliberately botched the investigation of her murder to prevent the family from holding her killers accountable.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard, was to have been deposed in Texas last Thursday with Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita. Kilpatrick’s wife showed, but not his father.

Rosen said in this morning’s order that Edmonds informed Yatooma on his way to the airport Wednesday night that Bernard Kilpatrick wouldn’t appear for the deposition unless Yatooma paid Kilpatrick’s expenses to travel to Texas or unless Yatooma paid Edmonds expenses to travel to Michigan.

It’s unclear why Bernard Kilpatrick was in Michigan. He was thought to be living in Texas with his son.

The judge said Yatooma had been trying to schedule the elder Kilpatrick’s deposition since March. Earlier this month, Rosen denied Edmonds’ request to quash the subpoena for the deposition on the grounds that her client would refuse to answer questions citing his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Bernard Kilpatrick is under investigation in a federal municipal corruption probe.

Yatooma has been racing in recent weeks to wrap up depositions in the suit, which is expected to go to trial in January if it survives an expected motion from lawyers for Kilpatrick and the city to dismiss the lawsuit.

There was no immediate comment from Edmonds or Yatooma.

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