Detroit mayor, council battle over lawyers

June 21, 2008 at 9:55 AM

DETROIT, June 21 (UPI) -- Detroit City Council members are telling lawyers hired by the city's embattled mayor they should drop their efforts to protect the mayor from removal hearings.

Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson introduced a resolution Friday that would halt the payment of two attorneys hired by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick through the city's Law Department to defend him against efforts by the council to remove him from office over corruption allegations, The Detroit News reported Saturday.

The resolution directs the Law Department to drop a suit filed by the mayor against the City Council that seeks to stop a planned quasi-judicial action against him known as a forfeiture hearing. Such hearings are used for instances of official misconduct that violate the city charter.

The two attorneys, Robert Sedler and Godfrey Dillard, insist they are representing the city as a whole and not just the mayor, but that claim has been dismissed as ludicrous by some council members since the city's Law Department serves both the mayor and the council, the newspaper said.

Kilpatrick has been accused of inappropriately awarding an $8.4 million legal settlement to two police department whistle-blowers who allegedly were in possession of damaging information about the mayor.

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