Kilpatrick’s wife, father must sit for depositions

Detroit — The wife and father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick must sit for depositions in a lawsuit brought by the family of a slain exotic dancer, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen denied requests from Carlita and Bernard N. Kilpatrick to quash subpoenas seeking their depositions.

The two Kilpatricks argued they lack “relevant knowledge,” but Rosen said in a 10-page order there is a “sufficient basis for believing” they may offer relevant testimony.

Tamara “Strawberry” Greene, a dancer linked to a rumored stripper party at the mayor’s Manoogian Mansion in the fall 2002, was shot to death in Detroit on April 30, 2003. Her family is suing the former mayor and the city, alleging they obstructed the investigation into her unsolved slaying. The defendants deny the allegations.

The Kilpatricks asserted they may have to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer certain questions because of pending charges and an ongoing investigation involving the former mayor. But Rosen said that’s no reason to cancel the depositions.

Marital privileges shield “communications between Carlita and Kwame Kilpatrick during their marriage that were made in confidence,” Rosen said.

“The privilege would not prevent Carlita Kilpatrick from testifying about events she observed or in which she participated.”

Under one account of the rumored party, Carlita Kilpatrick came home to discover the party and assaulted Greene. Kilpatrick has denied the party ever took place.

Rosen did agree to seal the depositions, at least temporarily.

The depositions are scheduled for Aug. 12 in the Dallas area.

Former Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings was scheduled to complete her deposition Wednesday.

The former mayor, who is in custody on a state probation violation, is to complete his deposition Tuesday, while his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty, is to complete hers Monday. Former Police Chief Jerry Oliver is to be deposed Wednesday in Arizona.

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