Lawyer in Greene lawsuit asks to expand city’s e-mail search

Detroit— A lawyer representing the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene wants to expand a search of the city of Detroit’s e-mail system for clues that could show whether ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick or others obstructed an investigation into her unsolved death.

Greene family lawyer Kirkland Garey filed a request Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit asking 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. But Garey is trying again because a Detroit computer employee’s testimony in December contradicted the city’s earlier claim that keyword searches were impossible.

Krystal Crittendon, head of the city’s Law Department, could not be reached immediately for comment. The city wants the case dismissed.

The request comes less than two weeks before a March 7 hearing at which Kilpatrick, Beatty and other current and former city officials are expected to testify in the civil case.

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.

Among other things, Garey wants to search emails for references to a Manoogian party and communications between former Attorney General Mike Cox and ex-Detroit Corporation Counsel Ruth Carter, who is now a judge in 36th District Court.

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