|Christine Beatty, former chief of staff to former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, signed her plea agreement. (Andre Jackson/ Detroit Free Press)|
Ex-Detroit mayor's aide admits guilt
Beatty accepts 4 months in jail
DETROIT - Stoic and publicly silent through months of a sexual scandal, the woman whose relationship with former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick led to his downfall broke her silence yesterday, shedding tears as she pleaded guilty.
Christine Beatty, a former aide to Kilpatrick, accepted a four-month jail sentence in exchange for admitting to obstruction-of-justice charges for her actions in a lawsuit brought by two police officers. The officers said that Kilpatrick retaliated against them when they suspected wrongdoing by members of his inner circle.
Sexually explicit text messages between Kilpatrick and Beatty, published in January by the Detroit Free Press, contradicted witness-stand denials that they were having an affair.
Both were married at the time.
"I lied under oath," Beatty told the judge, echoing the words Kilpatrick used during his guilty plea in September.
"I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury and to impede and obstruct the fair administration of justice," she said in pleading guilty to two felonies.
Beatty, 38, was initially unable to choke back tears. Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny gave her a moment to compose herself.
Beatty's jail sentence will begin Jan. 5. With credit for good behavior, she could be free in 100 days.
Beatty, the mother of two young daughters who has since been divorced, had fought her case until yesterday.
"It was time to get it over with, get on with her life, get it out of her children's lives," defense lawyer Mayer Morganroth said outside court. "Otherwise it goes on and on."
Later yesterday, Beatty told reporters that she decided to end her "ordeal" to spare her children from a long trial and possible prison sentence.
"I am extremely sorry to all the people that were harmed," including the Kilpatrick family, she said. She declined to take questions.
"We live in an age where greed and protecting one's secrets is glorified and accepted," county Prosecutor Kym Worthy said later. "I am very pleased that this defendant admitted her guilt."
Beatty was charged with perjury, misconduct, and obstruction of justice in her testimony before and during a 2007 civil trial in Wayne County.
Kilpatrick, 38, resigned from office and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.