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Government > News Hits

Cox in a box

Attorney General Mike Cox
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Published 3/19/2008

News Hits doesn't usually watch the television news. The broadcasts in the early evening usually land in the middle of our cocktail hour (which typically lasts from around 4 p.m. until sometime after midnight), and we hate to have anything even remotely work-related impinge on our leisure. But, fortunately, a helpful fan tipped us off about a splendid little interview WXYZ did last week with Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

Cox, you probably know, weighed in on the subject of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick last week after the Kwamster dropped the N-bomb during a rant that concluded his State of the City speech.

That, it seems, was just too much for our upright AG to stand.

Cox bit his oily tongue when the Freep uncovered text messages indicating Kilpatrick and then-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty (now looking for work elsewhere) had lied under oath during a whistle-blower trial initiated by two former cops.

He also didn't say anything when it was revealed that the mayor had cut a secret deal to keep those embarrassing text messages from seeing the light of day.

Cox was likewise mum last year, when a jury found in favor of said cops, who alleged they were retaliated against for having the temerity to take seriously rumors that some of the mayor's body guards were padding their hours big-time to get unearned overtime pay, and that there'd been a party at the Manoogian Mansion involving what we aficionados like to call "exotic dancers."

The story, as everyone on the planet knows well by now, was that First Lady Carlita Kilpatrick showed up unexpected at the bash and took exception to the way one of the, uh, dancers was touching the Big Guy and laid into her with the closest wooden object she could get her hands on.

When word of the rumored party hit the news racks, Mickey C. headed up an investigation. He eventually concluded that the rumored shindig was nothing more than an "urban legend."

But there has long been grumbling that the investigation was less than thorough. The AG's office bristles like a warthog in heat at such grumbling and will point out in a flash that the investigation couldn't have been more intense.

As foxy Coxie pointed out in a press release issued in June 2004, when he and the state troopers conducting the investigation were all done turning over rocks and shining bright lights into the eyes of potential witnesses: "To give you some sense of the thoroughness of the investigation, a few statistics will provide perspective: Over 30 witnesses were examined under oath by investigative subpoena; over 120 witnesses were interviewed; approximately 90 subpoenas were issued for witnesses and documents; forensic analysis of computers was performed; and over 10,000 pages of documents and records were reviewed."

Whew.

With an investigation that extensive, there's no way any possible avenues leading to the truth weren't followed, right?

Well, not exactly. WXYZ's Heather Catallo and Peggy Agar (or, more likely, one of their producers) got ahold of some smokin' State Police memos complaining about the stonewall Cox placed at a few crucial intersections.

Out of all those people interviewed, it turns out that only one wasn't placed under oath. It was the guy we here at News Hits like to call the Kwamster. Seems that not only did KK not have to put his hand on a Bible, he was also the only figure Cox interviewed without having a State Police investigator present.

But wait, it gets even more interesting.

As Catallo reported, there was another potential player in the party that never happened who didn't get interviewed at all. That would be Detroit's first lady herself, Queen Carlita.

If you want to watch some truly amusing TV, go to WXYZ's Web site (wxyz.com) and find the clip of Agar trying to get some straight talk from the state's chief law enforcement officer. It's a hoot.

Asked why he didn't bother interviewing one of the few people specifically alleged to have been at the party that never happened: "We were concerned about a felony, not a fistfight between two women."

All this time we were under the impression that allegations about a party and the mayor's wife attacking one of the strippers performing there was one of the key things Cox was supposed to be getting to the bottom of.

Agar pressed Cox for an explanation that made sense. Why was the alleged perpetrator of the assault, Carlita Kilpatrick, never interviewed — especially when State Police investigators specifically identified her as one of the people they wanted questioned under oath?

We've watched the clip a few times and still can't find anything but a non-answer from Cox. So, the question out there hanging is a big, fat why not?

All of which makes Cox's decision last week truly peculiar, especially since there's a (albeit truly remote) possibility Cox could be called upon to prosecute Kwame if charges are justified. Seems to us that speaking out at this point and calling upon the mayor to make a hasty exit kind of compromises Cox, no? Cox is the one who went to law school and, presumably, took an ethics class or two, but it always seemed to us that prosecutors are supposed to keep themselves above that kind of political fray.

And speaking of ethics — News Hits is trying to keep its eye on the truly important aspects of the Kilpatrick scandal (actually, that should be in the plural at this point, don't ya think?), but we'd feel a bit remiss if we didn't remind our readers that, back in 2005, the self-righteous Cox — claiming that attorney Geoffrey Fieger was trying to blackmail him — revealed that, like Kwame K., he'd had some difficulty keeping his trousers zipped. Fortunately for him, he didn't pull a Spitzer and shell out cash for his extracurricular plaything. Interestingly, though, under Michigan law his adultery amounted to a felony.

But he didn't resign.

But why should he? After all, he didn't do anything as dastardly as utter the "N-word."

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com.

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