Detroit mayor bases defense on charter

June 2, 2008 at 11:55 AM

DETROIT, June 2 (UPI) -- Legal experts say debate over what constitutes "official misconduct" is at the center of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's efforts to fight his removal.

Kilpatrick is resisting attempts by Detroit's City Council to oust him based on the fact that the term does not appear in the in the city charter, which seems to leave his attorneys with numerous options to defend him, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The newspaper said he used to strategy last week to veto a hearing called for by Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to investigate charges Kilpatrick lied to investigators looking into corruption allegations.

"(Kilpatrick contends) there's one set of laws that applies here, the Detroit City Charter, and not a common understanding of misconduct. His argument is … 'The governor can't simply adopt her own rules,'" Peter Henning, a Wayne State University law professor, told the Free Press.

Kilpatrick and a female colleague have been charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and conspiracy in connection with the scandal.

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