Kilpatrick wanted $25M from SkyTel

Dec. 28, 2011 at 7:21 PM
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DETROIT, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants SkyTel to pay him $25 million for releasing text messages between him and his chief of staff, court papers said.

Kilpatrick's lawsuit against SkyTel Inc., which provided text messaging services to the city at the time the scandal broke, is scheduled to go to trial in Mississippi in January, The Detroit News reported. SkyTel's attorneys asked the court Tuesday to keep information about settlement talks from the jury.

Michael Stefani, representing a police whistle-blower in a lawsuit against Detroit, obtained the text messages between Kilpatrick and his chief of staff, Christine Beatty, with whom he was having an affair. The messages eventually led to criminal charges against Kilpatrick and Beatty.

Kilpatrick's suit contends SkyTel violated federal law by releasing the messages.

The total $25 million Kilpatrick sought in a settlement included $14 million in statutory damages with additional sums for punitive damages, actual damages and emotional distress.

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