Prosecutor to appeal ruling in Detroit mayor's case

DETROIT — Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said she will appeal a decision upholding a 36th District Court judge's ruling not to disqualify himself and the entire bench from hearing the criminal case against Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Worthy also called Thursday's refusal by Chief Judge Marylin Atkins to remove Judge Ronald Giles from the case and a June 9 preliminary examination "disturbing."

She has 21 days to file the appeal with Wayne County Circuit Court."There were significant reasons to justify his not hearing this case," Worthy said in a statement.

Giles should have put on the court's record a conversation he had with a member of Kilpatrick's executive protection unit about courtroom security prior to last week's hearing on the prosecutor's motion for disqualification, Worthy said.

Giles also initially didn't tell prosecutors and defense attorneys that Kilpatrick was a guest last year at a graduation party at the judge's home, Worthy added.

"The opinion is sadly incomplete in its failure to address the fact that Judge Giles disclosed these facts only when confronted on the record," Worthy said.

Worthy had asked that an outside judge hear the perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice case against Kilpatrick and his former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty. They are accused of lying under oath during a whistle-blowers' trial last year.

Kilpatrick also is accused of lying under oath about his role in the firing of a top police official.

Assistant prosecutors had pointed last week to Giles' $300 contribution to a past Kilpatrick political campaign, among other reasons, why he should not hear the case. They also pointed to potential conflicts of interest by the court bench as one or two judges could be called to testify.

Atkins agreed to review Giles' decision after prosecutors appealed.

But no basis was found to reverse his ruling not to disqualify himself, Atkins wrote in her order.

"The prosecutor conceded at the beginning of the hearing that they are not claiming that Judge Giles holds any bias or prejudice for or against Mayor Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, defense attorneys or prosecutors," she wrote.

The issue to disqualify the entire bench was made moot since Giles' decision was upheld, according to her order.

Attorneys for Kilpatrick and Beatty had filed motions opposing Worthy's efforts to have Giles and the bench recused.

"The prosecutor has stated on numerous occasions that justice should be applied equally to everyone, however, it seems that when it comes to Mayor Kilpatrick her standard of fairness does not apply," Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Atkins' ruling also is not a benefit to the defendants, Beatty attorney Mayer Morganroth said after receiving a copy of her decision.

"We expected rule and law to be pursued and justice done," Morganroth said.

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