Five weeks ago, I promised the People of
Detroit and the citizens of Michigan, my office would conduct a thorough
investigation into the allegations surrounding Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and
members of his Executive Protection Unit. I also promised that we would proceed
as quickly as the facts would allow. Five weeks later, I can announce that we
have fulfilled those promises.
Under the direct leadership of Tom
Furtaw, chief of my Criminal Justice Bureau, a team of nine lawyers and
investigators from my staff and the Michigan State Police have done a remarkable
job conducting this investigation.
To give you some sense of the
thoroughness of the investigation, a few statistics will provide perspective:
over 30 witnesses were examined under oath by investigative subpoena; over 120
witnesses were interviewed; approximately 90 subpoenas were issued for witnesses
and documents; forensic analysis of computers was performed; and over 10,000
pages of documents and records were reviewed.
As you may recall, the Attorney
General’s Office began this investigation on Monday, May 19, to investigate a
number of charges that grew out of press reports concerning the firing of
Detroit Police Deputy Chief Gary Brown, an alleged incident at the Manoogian
Mansion, and allegations concerning Police Officers Loronzo Jones and Michael
Martin involving overtime fraud, drunk driving and the failure to report
automobile accidents involving property damage. Additionally, the reports
raised the specter of possible obstructions of justice.
I specifically charged the investigative
team with focusing the investigation on whether any criminal acts occurred. I
repeat, the focus of this team was on determining whether any criminal charges
should issue; they were not assigned to examine whether civil lawsuits
concerning wrongful firings are appropriate nor to audit police management
decisions nor to pass political judgments. The task was simple: do we have
evidence of crimes being committed? The answer is “no.”
Let me deal with the most inflammatory
allegation first: The allegation of a party at the Manoogian Mansion involving
strippers, the Mayor and members of the Detroit Police Department. Over 50
different witnesses who presumably were in a position to know about such an
incident were directly asked about the alleged party. Not one witness had any
direct or indirect credible knowledge of such an event. These witnesses ranged
from officers assigned to guard the Mayor to civilians who called in tips.
These allegations appear to be founded solely on wild rumor and speculation.
During the course of the investigation,
the Mayor voluntarily offered to talk about the allegations. He emphatically
denied any knowledge of such a party; all the evidence supports his denial. The
party has all the earmarks of an “urban legend,” and it should be treated as
A second set of allegations concerned
alleged automobile accidents involving unmarked police vehicles driven by
Officers Martin and Jones while they were on-duty and intoxicated. The
investigation confirmed that Officer Michael Martin’s department-issued Crown
Victoria did suffer three flat tires during the early morning hours of February
7, 2003, on East Grand Boulevard near Jefferson. Officer Martin claimed he “ran
over something,” then parked the car at the curb, before getting a ride home
from a friend.
The media-reported witnesses were
claiming Martin was drunk at the time of the collision. Officer Martin denied
that allegation. Witnesses who were with Martin after the accident also deny
that he was intoxicated or appeared intoxicated. Physical examination of the
Crown Victoria failed to yield any of the usual indicators of a two car
accident. In short, there are no witnesses or physical evidence which
contradict Officer Martin’s account.
The allegation regarding Officer Jones
concerned a possible accident that occurred in December 2002 or January 2003 at
the Half-Past Three Club on Grand River. Numerous witnesses were interviewed
concerning this allegation: the witnesses included club owners, valet and
security personnel, 13th Precinct records, and employees at three different
garages. Jones denied any accident. The investigation was unable to uncover
any evidence of an accident, a date of the alleged accident or cause of the
The more serious charges involving
Officers Jones and Martin involved allegations of fraudulent payment of
overtime. Officer Jones supervised the Executive Protection Unit. As the
commanding officer, Jones had the ability to assign and approve all overtime for
the E.P.U officers. It is indisputable that some officers, including Jones and
Martin, received inordinate amounts of overtime pay. Routinely, officers
traveling with the Mayor on out-of-town business received overtime pay for each
and every hour spent on the trip.
The extravagant payments of overtime
were not limited to out-of-town trips. As an example, in August of 2002, Jones
“was on the clock” for one 64-hour stretch of time while working in Detroit. We
conducted an extensive investigation of these practices, which confirmed
overtime abuses and shoddy recordkeeping within the Executive Protection Unit.
Witnesses reported and testified to a system that involved ever-changing and
unwritten policies, as well as extremely relaxed oversight--in fact, no
superiors ever questioned the payments. The E.P.U. officers were not required
to detail specific work activity. Overtime was routinely granted based upon the
“honor” system, with overtime slips later filled out by the timekeeper.
Against this backdrop of poor management and the lack of written policies, it is
literally impossible to prove a criminal intent to defraud the Police Department
by any of the E.P.U.officers.
Finally, the most serious allegation as
it relates to possible public corruption concerned the firing of Deputy Chief
Gary Brown and whether this firing was an attempt to obstruct justice –
specifically, an attempt to obstruct Deputy Chief Brown’s investigation of the
Manoogian Mansion rumor and the activities of Officers Jones and Martin.
While the circumstances of Mr. Brown’s
dismissal may give rise to successful civil litigation, we do not find any
evidence of an obstruction of justice.
A look at the timeline of events sheds
greater light on the allegations. Initially, over the course of numerous
interviews and informal contacts with officers from the Professional
Accountability Bureau, Officer Nelthrope, a former E.P.U. officer, outlined the
charges that were ultimately investigated by our office. It was not until the
third meeting that he mentioned the Manoogian rumor. These allegations gave
rise to an internal investigation by the Professional Accountability Bureau.
By Friday, May 2, 2003, a five-page
internal memorandum was drafted for Deputy Chief Brown by his subordinates. The
memorandum outlined the Manoogian rumor, as well as the driving and overtime
allegations against Jones and Martin. This memorandum was entitled,
“ALLEGATIONS AGAINST MAYOR KWAME M. KILPATRICK, MRS. CARLITA KILPATRICK AND
MEMBERS ASSIGNED TO THE EXECUTIVE PROTECTION UNIT."
On Monday, May 5, 2003, Chief Jerry
Oliver requested a bullet point memorandum from Deputy Chief Brown regarding the
investigation of the Executive Protection Unit. The memo was entitled
“INFORMATION” and did not mention the Manoogian rumor. Oliver stated he was
going to give the bullet point memorandum to Christine Beatty, Mayor
Kilpatrick’s chief of staff.
Both Chief Oliver and Deputy Chief
Brown agreed that the subjects of the bullet point memorandum were not criminal
matters but rather should be handled internally within the Police Department.
On Tuesday, May 6, 2003, Chief Oliver
and Christine Beatty met and discussed a number of police department issues.
During the course of the meeting, Oliver gave the bullet point memorandum to
Beatty. She reviewed the memorandum and agreed with the recommendation that the
allegations against the Executive Protection Unit officers should be handled
internally by the Police Department.
Ms. Beatty claims that later that same
Tuesday she received an anonymous letter in her internal office mailbox. She
said the anonymous letter detailed some of the same allegations that were in the
bullet point memorandum, but also included an allegation that Deputy Chief Brown
was involved in other secret investigations. She told investigators that she
became alarmed by this information. Ms. Beatty later shredded the letter.
On Wednesday, May 7, 2003, Beatty
decided to discuss the matter with the Mayor. Sometime prior to speaking with
the Mayor, Ms. Beatty ordered David Rayford, City Information Officer, to copy
all the files on the computers of Deputy Chief Brown as well as two of his
subordinates, Commander Don Parshall and Inspector Steve Dolunt. She then told
Mayor Kilpatrick about the bullet point memorandum as well as the anonymous
letter. As the Mayor told our investigators, it “raised her ire."
Ms. Beatty told investigators that she
recommended the Mayor should consider “unappointing” and moving Deputy Chief
Brown to another position because of her concerns that Brown was possibly
withholding information about ongoing investigations or even falsifying
information presented to the Chief of Police. Ms. Beatty never discussed the
anonymous letter with Chief Oliver.
The Mayor stated he decided to remove
Deputy Brown from his appointed position based upon the information from and
recommendation of Ms. Beatty. He further told investigators that he barely
knew Brown, who is one of approximately 150 mayoral appointees supervised by
Beatty and the respective city department directors.
On Friday, May 9, 2002, she ordered the
“securing” of the computers of Deputy Chief Brown, Commander Parshall, and
Inspector Dolunt to prevent them access. According to City of Detroit
information technicians, these types of lockdowns are not unusual in transfer or
Later that same day, Mayor Kilpatrick,
Chief of Staff Beatty, and Chief Oliver met and Oliver was told about the
un-appointment based upon Brown withholding information to his superiors.
It is noteworthy that it was not until
the following Monday, May 12, 2003, that Chief Oliver even saw, for the first
time, the five-page memorandum which contained the Manoogian Mansion
allegation. According to Chief Oliver, and Brown’s immediate superior,
Assistant Chief Tim Black, Brown was withholding information from them as well
as engaging in an investigation that if warranted should be handled by an
Undoubtedly, Ms. Beatty’s actions and
recommendation were arguably premature and heavy-handed, yet there is nothing to
suggest that she obstructed a criminal investigation. Her actions may support a
civil suit, but there is no evidence she sought to obstruct justice.
Further, it is unclear what if any
crimes arguably occurred, especially in light of Deputy Chief Brown’s
recommendation that the allegations against Jones and Martin be handled
internally. Additionally, the Manoogian Mansion allegations were, at best,
tenuous and unsubstantiated rumor.
In addition to an absence of criminal
behavior, it is uncontroverted that the Mayor did not even know about the
five-page memorandum discussing the Manoogian Mansion rumor. As the chief
executive of a large corporate entity, he necessarily placed his confidence in
his chief of staff.
In short, while a number of decisions
made were arguably shortsighted and the indications of bad judgment or
inexperience, there is not any evidence of an obstruction of justice or other
So let me repeat, there is absolutely
no evidence – outside of outlandish rumor – of the so-called Manoogian Mansion
party. Nor is there any evidence of an obstruction of justice by the Mayor or
anyone working for him. Whether any of the decisions made equal bad politics,
bad policy or a wrongful termination, we leave to the civil court system and the
voters of Detroit.