Kilpatrick lawyer asks judge to reject latest e-mail request in slain dancer case

Detroit— Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants a judge to reject a request by lawyers representing the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene to expand a search of the city’s e-mail system.

Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas filed a response today in U.S. District Court in Detroit objecting to the request. Greene family lawyers are hunting for clues that could show whether Kilpatrick or others obstructed an investigation into the woman’s unsolved death.

“It is becoming increasingly apparent that plaintiffs feel that they are entitled to a litmitless fishing expedition in furtherance of their conspiracy theories,” Thomas wrote. “There is no conspiracy.”

The response comes a week after Greene family lawyer Kirkland Garey asked a federal judge for permission to perform keyword searches of e-mails belonging to every city employee.

He wants a federal judge to allow a search of e-mail accounts belonging to Kilpatrick, former Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and Christine Beatty, the ex-mayor’s mistress and former chief of staff.

A similar request was rejected last year because it was considered overly broad and excessively burdensome.

Garey is trying again because a Detroit computer employee’s testimony in December contradicted the city’s earlier claim that keyword searches were impossible.

Kilpatrick is scheduled to testify during a hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Detroit along with Beatty and other current and former city officials.

Garey also wants permission to question Kilpatrick and others at the hearing about city e-mails from Sept. 1, 2002, to present. U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen has limited the questioning to the period from Aug. 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003.

Greene, 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 Kilpatrick have asked a federal judge to dismiss the case.

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