Texts with Kwame Kilpatrick may be key in Greene lawsuit

Attorney Norman Yatooma will get another crack today at deposing 36th District Judge Ruth Carter, who was ordered Wednesday to answer more questions in the lawsuit involving Tamara Greene, a slain stripper said to have danced at a rumored wild party at the Manoogian Mansion.

Carter’s continued deposition will take place at noon at her lawyer’s Detroit office. She is expected to be asked about text messages she exchanged with ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2003 about the possible benefits of Attorney General Mike Cox conducting an investigation into the rumored party. At the time, Carter was director of the Detroit Law Department.

“Talking to the head of the law department is pretty critical,” said Yatooma, who is representing Greene’s family, which claims the city and Kilpatrick derailed her murder investigation to protect the killers.

Kilpatrick’s lawyer, Jim Thomas, said he doubts Carter will offer any new information.

“I don’t expect that her deposition is going to advance the cause of Mr. Yatooma, who has a pretty heavy burden,” Thomas said.

Carter’s lawyer, Gabi Silver, also doubts that her client will offer Yatooma anything helpful.

“On his makeup lawsuit? No, I don’t think so,” said Silver, who refuted Yatooma’s claims that there was a delay tactic in getting Carter’s deposition. “She has never refused to appear, or refused to answer questions — never.”

At a deposition in August, Thomas had advised Carter not to answer questions about her texts with Kilpatrick, citing attorney-client privilege. But last month, U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen held that that privilege didn’t apply and ordered Carter to continue her deposition.

Yatooma, meanwhile, is facing a Nov. 10 deadline to respond to requests by the city and Kilpatrick to dismiss the 5-year-old lawsuit.

Greene, 27, was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2003, about six months after supposedly dancing at the never-proved party.

The city and Kilpatrick have denied charges of a cover-up.


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