Greene case lawyer: Penalize Detroit

Detroit — A lawyer representing the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene asked a federal judge today to issue a default judgment against the city for failing to turn over e-mails and other records.

The request, filed by lawyer Norman Yatooma in U.S. District Court in Detroit, said the city should be penalized for withholding documents requested last summer.

“A substantial sanction is warranted here, not only for the City’s continued failure to fully comply, but also for the needless time and expense to which plaintiffs, and this court, have been put based upon the city’s inaccurate, incomplete, and misleading discovery responses…,” Yatooma wrote in the filing.

Greene family lawyers are trying to find e-mails received and sent by former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and others from September 2002 through June 2003. They are trying to determine whether there’s any evidence that the former mayor or the city obstructed the investigation into Greene’s death.

City lawyer John Schapka could not be reached for comment today.

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.

Lawyers for Kilpatrick and the city have asked Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen to dismiss the lawsuit.

Yatooma said the city has failed to turn over activity logs for Police Sgt. Shawn Gargalino, identified by a dispatcher as being the supervising officer sent to the Manoogian Mansion following several 911 calls, according to today’s filing. Yatooma also blamed the city for failing to turn over e-mails from former Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and two former Kilpatrick bodyguards.

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