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Ex-Detroit mayor faces groping hearing

  |   April 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM
JACKSON, Mich., April 7 (UPI) -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick faces a hearing for allegedly groping his wife's left breast during a prison visit, state prison officials said Thursday.

The alleged fondle of Carlita Kilpatrick while she met with him in an open room July 4 could factor into the former mayor's May parole hearing and lead to his wife's being barred from visiting, officials said.

Such conduct, considered sexual assault, violates prisoner rules, they said.

Mel Grieshaber, executive director of the union that represents corrections officers, told The Detroit News sexual misconduct is on a long list of rules violations considered "major misconduct," along with insubordination and physical assault.

"This has to be resolved and will be," prison spokesman Russ Marlan told the News Thursday.

Kilpatrick's lawyer, James C. Thomas, could not immediately be reached for comment.

The former mayor was transferred to Michigan State Prison in Jackson Wednesday from the Federal Correctional Institution near Milan, Mich., so he could prepare for his parole bid, set for the week of May 9.

If he wins parole, his earliest release date is July 24 and he would be able to rejoin his wife and children in Dallas unless the parole board restricts his travel to Michigan.

Kilpatrick was put into federal custody July 12, a day before being charged in U.S. District Court with 19 counts of fraud and income tax violations.

When the alleged groping incident, caught on video surveillance, first came up last year, Kilpatrick spokesman Mike Paul said: "This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of in my life -- another example of people trying to pile on in any way, shape or form on this man. This is his wife -- not his girlfriend, not a guard, not somebody he met at the prison. If the alleged incident did indeed happen, Kilpatrick should have been warned, like any other prisoner on a first-time offense, and not written up. Someone in the prison is obviously looking to make a name for himself by going after Mr. Kilpatrick once again. This time for allegedly loving his wife. This is absurd."

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