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Detroit Braces for 'Roller Coaster' Kilpatrick Case

Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick learned Monday whether he'd face perjury or other related charges. A county prosecutor has been investigating the mayor after the publication of racy text messages allegedly written between him and a former top aide. The messages indicate that the two may have lied on the witness stand during a whistleblower trial last summer.

The controversy that some have dubbed "Textgate" has dominated water cooler conversation in Michigan for months. It's clear that Detroit's political establishment is going through something of a constitutional crisis.

Last week, the Detroit City Council took the unprecedented step of passing a resolution calling on Kilpatrick to resign. Though it's nonbinding and largely symbolic, Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel says the resolution sends a message.

"It is a vote of no-confidence in the capacity of the mayor to lead this city at this time, and it is a tragedy, an enormous talent that has been squandered," Cockrel says.

The City Council is conducting its own probe into the circumstances surrounding the settlement of that whistleblowers lawsuit. Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. says Detroit can no longer afford what the mayor himself calls the "Kwame Kilpatrick roller coaster."

Noah Ovshinsky reports from Detroit Public Radio.

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Noah Ovshinsky