DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge dismissed a civil lawsuit Tuesday that claimed the city of Detroit and ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a convicted felon, impeded a police investigation into the shooting death of a stripper.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said in his opinion that the attorney representing Tamara Greene’s three children failed to prove the city or Kilpatrick interfered with the probe into her 2003 shooting death.
Greene, who performed under the name Strawberry, was rumored to have danced in 2002 at a never-proven party at the mayor’s official Manoogian Mansion residence.
Rosen agreed with lawyers for the city and Kilpatrick that there was “no evidentiary basis” for a legal finding that Kilpatrick obstructed or interfered with the investigation into the murder.
Kilpatrick resigned as mayor in 2008 after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in state court. He served time in a county jail but later spent 14 months in state prison for violating his probation in the earlier case. He was paroled Aug. 2, but faces a federal corruption trial in 2012 on fraud, tax and racketeering conspiracy charges.
Rosen said lawyers for Greene’s family seem to believe that Kilpatrick must have interfered with the murder investigation because he regularly meddled with top police brass when he was mayor. But the judge said past wrongs don’t necessarily fit new cases.
Rosen said there is a “dearth of evidence” connecting Kilpatrick or any of his allies to any interference with the homicide investigation.
Current Mayor Dave Bing’s office declined to comment Tuesday on the ruling. Greene family attorney Norman Yatooma didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
Kilpatrick attorney James Thomas said the process was lengthy and involved “tens of thousands of pages of material.”
“I am extremely gratified the judge has made the decision,” Thomas said. “Mr. Yatooma had his chance.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.