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Newspaper Obtains Detroit Mayor's Text Messages

POSTED: 02:45 PM ET, 01/25/2008 by The Editors

The Detroit Free Press reports today that it has obtained text messages showing that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship when they testified in a police whistle-blower trial last summer.

The newspaper examined nearly 14,000 text messages on a pager the city issued to the chief of staff, Christine Beatty. While the e-mails sent to and from public officials have figured in many investigations around the country, it is much more rare for text messages from pagers or cell phones to become public. The Detroit case is somewhat unusual, because the system used by Beatty and the mayor would store messages much longer than text messages sent via cell phone, the Associated Press reports.

Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the text messages show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons. The messages are also at odds with the pair's trial testimony that they did not fire Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown in 2003, an ouster that led him to sue. The text messages show Beatty recalling the "decision that we made to fire Gary Brown."

By The Editors |  January 25, 2008; 2:45 PM ET
Previous: Dulles Rail Doubts | Next: Liability for D.C. Tax Scandal?

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How is this a Washington Post investigation? It's the Detroit Free Press doing the investigation. Does reporting that some other paper is doing an investigation make it a WaPo investigation?

Lazy. Sad.

Posted by: PQ | January 25, 2008 4:37 PM

Responding to PQ's comment: Here at the Post's Investigations blog we occasionally point our readers to projects published or broadcast by other news organizations. We thought the Detroit case was unusually interesting.

--Lawrence Roberts, investigations editor.

Posted by: Lawrence Roberts | January 25, 2008 5:14 PM

Yeah, but (1) posting the story under "Washington Post Investigations" - where most, if not all, of the postings ARE about the WaPo's own investigations - and then, especially, (2) under the header "Newspaper Obtains Detroit Mayor's Text Messages," really makes it sound like the "Newspaper" in question was the WaPo.

A better headline would be "Detroit Paper Obtains...." I understand space constraints and all (I'm a writer myself), but from the reader's perspective, it is misleadingly presented. I just thought you should know that.

Posted by: PQ | January 26, 2008 11:39 AM

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