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Opinion: Detroit mayor leaves jail, then is charged with fresh felony counts

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We interrupt the presidential campaign for this breaking news item from Detroit -- and the only reason we do so is because it is such a persistently bizarre story.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spent Thursday night in jail after violating his bail conditions by crossing the Detroit River for an official meeting in Windsor, Ontario -- that’s right, he left the country. But he came back. Unfortunately for Kilpatrick, he was supposed to get court permission before leaving the jurisdiction, and the judge was not amused. So he sent the mayor to jail for the night.

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The underlying case is one of those sordid tales of infidelity and, in this case, allegations of perjury stemming from the mayor’s testimony in a civil case by whistle-blowers the city had fired that that he had not had an extramarital affair with one of his aides. Copies of racy text messages between the mayor and the aide -- ‘And, did you miss me, sexually?’ -- seemed to suggest otherwise.

Today’s twist: After Kilpatrick was released from jail this morning, he was tagged with fresh charges -- felony assault stemming form an incident last month in which he allegedly shoved a cop.

Kilpatrick has remained defiantly in office through all of this, despite pressure by the City Council, local Democrats -- the mayor’s party -- and, well, just about everyone except perhaps political columnists that he pack it in.

The good news -- this little soap opera takes the locals’ minds off the economy.

-- Scott Martelle


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