Detroit mayor freed, but facing new charges

Fri Aug 8, 2008 4:40pm EDT
 
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By David Bailey

DETROIT (Reuters) - Indicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was freed on Friday after spending one night in jail, but with new restrictions on his movements and facing fresh assault charges.

A judge on Friday overturned a lower court ruling revoking Kilpatrick's bond because of an unapproved trip to Canada in July, finding that the mayor should have been allowed some type of bond despite his breach of the rules.

However, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Jackson set a stiff $50,000 cash bond, ordered an electronic tether and restricted Kilpatrick's movements, potentially keeping him from attending the Democratic National Convention.

Kilpatrick, 38, once seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, faces a potential 15-year prison term if convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and official misconduct stemming from a sex scandal and his handling of a whistle-blower lawsuit.

Kilpatrick, who showed up in court in a neat tan suit, also was arraigned on Friday on two felony assault charges stemming from an altercation at a friend's house with a Wayne County deputy and investigator in July. The new assault charges carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

The mayor was released on Friday afternoon after posting the $50,000 cash bond and $2,500 of the $25,000 bond set for the assault charges, a Wayne County Sheriff's spokesman said.

Kilpatrick's legal woes have added to the uncertainty surrounding Detroit, the 11th largest U.S. city and hub to the struggling U.S. auto industry.

He has defied calls to step down. Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, also a Democrat, has the power to remove the mayor and has scheduled a hearing in September to consider the possibility.

(Additional reporting by Soyoung Kim and Poornima Gupta; editing by Anthony Boadle)

 
<p>Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, after spending the night in the Wayne County Jail, sits in the courtroom as he faces Judge Thomas Jackson during a bond appeal hearing in Detroit, Michigan August 8, 2008. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook</p>