Lawyer: Did boats carry strippers to Manoogian party?
Detroit— A lawyer representing the family of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene wants the city to turn over records that could prove whether city boats were used to ship strippers and guests to a rumored Manoogian Mansion party.
The demand was included in a filing late Tuesday asking a federal judge to order the city of Detroit to pay a “substantial” sanction for failing to turn over documents, including boat logs, requested by Greene family lawyers.
The sanctions could include default judgment against the city for failing to turn over requested documents, including logs from 2002 that could prove whether a Detroit police boat unit ferried partygoers and strippers to the Manoogian Mansion, which backs up to the Detroit River, as several anonymous tipsters have told Greene family lawyers.
“How many more times must the plaintiffs have to come before this court and point out the glaring deficiencies in the city’s misleading and half-baked responses to document discovery requests that should have been answered fully and properly many months ago,” Greene family lawyer Gary Hermanson wrote late Tuesday. “The time has surely come for a substantial sanction, not another chance to make unfounded excuses.”
In particular, Greene family lawyers want activity logs and run sheets for Sept. 4, 2002.
The Sept. 4 date showed up on a cryptic entry in the city’s fire boat log, which refers to a “Mason McBride” party and a rendezvous between the fire boat and the private charter boat Infinity near the Ambassador Bridge, according to Hermanson’s filing.
Yet when the city turned over new documents Nov. 9, there were no activity logs for the boat unit for any weekdays in 2002, Hermanson wrote.
There is a Mason-McBride Inc. insurance and financial services firm based in Troy, but it was unclear if the cryptic note in the city’s logs is referring to the firm or another party.
A Mason-McBride executive could not be reached immediately for comment today.
The city also failed to turn over missing activity logs of Detroit Police Sgt. Shawn Gargalino, who reportedly was dispatched to the Manoogian following several 911 calls about a disturbance in fall 2002, according to a Greene family lawyer.
This is the second time Greene family lawyers have requested sanctions against the city in recent months.
The new claims, filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, are the latest salvos in the long-running case, which intensified Sunday when the deposition of stripper Tamika Ruffin was unsealed, revealing she says she attended the infamous Manoogian Mansion party and saw then-first lady Carlita Kilpatrick assault Greene.
Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma has requested a default judgment against the city for intentionally throwing away ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s computer. He also said the city should pay a sizable fine.
Kwame Kilpatrick filed an affidavit this week contradicting city lawyer John Schapka. The computer wasn’t trashed, the ex-mayor wrote. It was left for his successor, Ken Cockrel Jr., who denied receiving a computer from Kwame Kilpatrick.
Schapka could not be immediately reached for comment today.
A federal judge has scheduled a Dec. 1 hearing before deciding whether to sanction the city of Detroit for destroying Kwame Kilpatrick’s computer in 2008 while lawsuits were pending involving e-mails and text messages.
The city turned over thousands of documents Nov. 9 after Greene family lawyers asked for police activity logs for officers assigned to the 7th Precinct from August to October 2002.
But the city failed to turn over Gargalino’s run sheets and activity logs for the police department’s Harbormaster Boat Unit.
Gargalino had two supervisory runs Sept. 4, 2002, the only day of the month he had any such runs. But the city has not produced the run sheets, Hermanson wrote.
The Greene family lawsuit accuses Detroit and Kwame Kilpatrick of quashing an investigation into Greene’s death in 2003. Greene, 27, was killed in a drive-by shooting several months after she was linked to the rumored but never proven party at the mayor’s mansion in fall 2002.