Legal Ethics

$8.4M Sex, Lies & Texts Settlement Puts Detroit Lawyers on Hot Seat

The first of a series of legal ethics hearings has begun concerning five attorneys involved in a controversial $8.4 million settlement by the city of Detroit over police whistle-blower litigation and steamy text messages sent by the former mayor to his then-top aide.

Because the text messages also showed that then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick lied under oath in the whistle-blower litigation, attorney Sam McCargo, who was hired by the city to represent Kilpatrick, should have told the court of his client’s perjury, the prosecution contends in the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board case. In testimony at the hearing, a judge in the whistle-blower litigation said he would have ordered a new trial had he known about the text messages, reports the Detroit News.

Instead, McCargo allegedly helped craft an $8.4 million settlement in the whistle-blower litigation that was intended to conceal the text messages.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Callahan said he was surprised at the time that the city paid the settlement so quickly and so cheerfully. Ordinarily, he testified, the “city would drag its feet about the smallest matters imaginable,” reported the Detroit Free Press.

Four other lawyers involved in the settlement negotiations, including a plaintiff’s attorney, also face disciplinary charges.

Earlier coverage: “Did 5 Detroit Lawyers Craft $8.4M Pact to Conceal Ex-Mayor’s Perjury?”

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