Kwame Kilpatrick may testify in missing computer case

Detroit — Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick could be called as a witness Wednesday at a hearing that could help a judge decide whether to sanction the city of Detroit for destroying his computer in 2008 Kilpatrick’s name was included today on a list of witnesses who might be called during a hearing in U.S. District Court involving parties in a lawsuit between the city and the family of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. She allegedly performed at a rumored Manoogian Mansion party in 2002 and was killed months later in a drive-by shooting.

Greene family lawyers want Kilpatrick’s e-mails from September 2002 through June 2003 to see if there is any proof that the ex-mayor or city obstructed the homicide investigation.

Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma said he may call Kilpatrick, City Councilmen Ken Cockrel Jr. and Gary Brown, former Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings and 36th District Judge Ruth Carter.

A city lawyer said the computer was destroyed while lawsuits were pending involving e-mails and text messages. But Kilpatrick filed an affidavit last week saying it was given to his successor, Cockrel, in September 2008. Cockrel said he does not remember Kilpatrick leaving a computer behind.

City lawyer John Schapka said computers belonging to Kilpatrick and his former mistress, then-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, were thrown away and replaced in February 2008 — even though the Greene suit and other cases were pending.

Yatooma has requested a default judgment against the city for intentionally throwing away Kilpatrick’s computer. He also said the city should pay a sizable fine.

Kilpatrick’s computer was thrown away seven months before he resigned in 2008.

U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen last month said he was troubled that the computers were thrown away.

Kilpatrick, who is in federal prison for violating probation, was indicted June 23 on 19 fraud and tax counts. He was accused of turning the Kilpatrick Civic Fund charity into a personal slush fund for cash, travel, yoga, summer camp and anti-bugging equipment when he was in office.

Also listed as possible witnesses are Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon and Terrence Sims, a Detroit employee who oversees the city’s e-mail system.

He said in a court affidavit that he recently supervised a search for Kilpatrick’s e-mail. While Sims’ search failed to find e-mails from September 2002 through June 2003, other e-mails were found and extracted, Sims wrote in the affidavit.

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