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Detroit political consultant Eric Foster of the Urban Consulting Group said her conduct in recent years has not helped bring together those hurting in the Detroit region.

“I would characterize her tenure on the council has been chaotic,” Mr. Foster said. “It’s a tenure that has not been laden with professional or legislative accomplishment. She has not been the most effective.”

A plea deal likely would reduce any jail time and save the city more heartache as it recovers from the sex-and-texts scandal that led to the resignation of Kilpatrick and deals with a $300 million deficit among other economic woes, including a school district in the midst of massive reorganization and overhaul.

“Detroit has f#aced so much over the past year with so many issues of scandal and corruption,” Mr. Foster said of a possible plea. “I think it’s time for her to think of what is best for the city, the citizens. This whole thing projects an image of this city as not able to identify competent and ethical leaders.”

Mr. Ballenger says her political troubles, whatever the outcome, will not harm her husband politically.

“If Monica Conyers was a Washington wife, a lobbyist or something, they could tie in her conduct with him and his performance. Then I could see this really metastasizing into something that would become a national story,” he said. “At this point, I don’t think hardly anybody connects them.”

Mrs. Conyers faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted in a case that analysts fear could further stain the city’s political landscape, just as it attempts to gain much-needed credibility under a new mayor, Pistons basketball legend Dave Bing, who took the helm of the city last month after a special election.

Jerry Seper reported from Washington. Ben Conery contributed to this report from Washington.