|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT: Leigh Fifelski|
|Thursday, November 12, 2009||517-999-3646|
LANSING, MI – Citizen’s watchdog group Progress Michigan, in a letter to the U.S. Attorney for eastern Michigan, called upon the federal Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation of allegations that Attorney General Mike Cox and the Detroit police may have obstructed an investigation linked to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and the murder of a Detroit stripper.
Citing the sworn testimony of State Police Detective Sgt. Mark Krebs and published reports in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press that raised new questions regarding the conduct of the Attorney General and Detroit Police, the group called for the outside investigation to “clear the air.”
“It’s time to clear the air and have, at last, an outside, uncompromised investigation into the events leading up to and surrounding the death of Tamara Greene,” said David Holtz, executive director of Progress Michigan. “These longstanding allegations are more than just “gum on the shoe” of Mike Cox, they’re a black eye on a state that can ill afford it. The Attorney General and Detroit Police Department should welcome the opportunity to have the controversy over the handling of their investigations resolved.”
New questions about the Cox and the Detroit police investigations are related to an alleged wild party in 2002 at Manoogian Mansion where Greene is said to have been in involved in a fight with Carlita Kilpatrick, the wife of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Greene was subsequently killed in a still-unsolved 2003 homicide. An investigation by Cox’s office concluded the party was an “urban legend” and concluded there was no evidence of any crimes.
One of the Detective Krebs’ bombshell allegations was that Cox brokered an extraordinary off-the-record meeting that took place between Attorney General Cox and Mayor Kilpatrick. The Cox-Kilpatrick meeting did not include State Police investigators and did not involve questioning the mayor under oath. Krebs testified that Cox dismissed State Police investigators’ concerns about his meeting with Kilpatrick by telling them it was “just a meeting between two politicians.”
“Sgt. Krebs’ testimony calls into question whether these state and local units of government and law enforcement should be investigating themselves given the questions that have been raised about their past conduct and that the allegations involve prominent, powerful political figures such as the Michigan Attorney General,” Holtz said. “The common-sense solution here is to have an outside organization take charge of the investigation. With corruption being one of the Justice Department’s top investigative priorities, it seems U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg is the right man for the job.
“All involved in this matter are owed the presumption of innocence. We believe the only way to clear the air, protect the public interest and prevent an erosion in public confidence in our justice system is for the U.S. Justice Department to exercise its authority and responsibility and conduct an investigation that holds any officials guilty of wrongdoing accountable and exonerates the innocent.”
Progress Michigan’s letter to U.S. Attorney Berg is online at http://progressmichigan.org/page/-/usattorneyletter.pdf