- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2008

DETROIT (AP) | Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to a pair of felony obstruction charges on Thursday in a sex-and-misconduct scandal and will step down after months of defiantly holding onto his job leading the nation’s 11th-largest city.

The plea deal brings to an end a seven-months-long sex scandal that led to felony charges against Kilpatrick and plunged the city, region and state into political chaos.

As part of the deal, the 38-year-old Democrat is to serve four months in jail and five years of probation. He also would pay $1 million in restitution over the five-year probationary period.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner asked Kilpatrick if the mayor understood he was giving up the right to be innocent until proven guilty.

“I gave that up a long time ago,” Kilpatrick replied.

The married mayor and former top aide Christine Beatty were charged in March with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice. They’re accused of lying under oath about an affair and their roles in the firing of a deputy police chief.

Beatty did not plead guilty and next will appear in court on Sept. 11.

City Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. will succeed Kilpatrick as mayor until a special election is held.

Until now, Kilpatrick had refused to resign even as the calls for him to step down grew louder and the controversy overshadowed all else at City Hall, tarnishing the national image of the much-maligned city even more.

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