A judge ordered Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to jail Thursday for violating the terms of his bond in his perjury case by making a city business trip to Canada and not informing the court.
The mayor, who is accused of lying under oath in a civil case and faces eight felony counts, made the trip last month without telling the court in advance, leading the county prosecutor's office to request Kilpatrick be punished.
Only minutes earlier, the mayor offered an apology to the court, telling District Court Judge Ronald Giles that for seven months, "I've been living in an incredible state of pressure and scrutiny."
But Giles sent the mayor to jail anyway, telling him he would have given any defendant the same treatment.
"What matters to me though is how the court overall is perceived and how if it was not Kwame Kilpatrick sitting in that seat, if it was John Six-Pack sitting in that seat, what would I do? And that answer is simple," he said.
Circuit Court Judge Thomas E. Jackson said he wouldn't hear an appeal by Kilpatrick's lawyers until 9 a.m. Friday, meaning the mayor was to spend the night in jail.
The mayor's chief of staff, Kandia Milton, will run the city while Kilpatrick is in jail, mayoral spokeswoman Denise Tolliver said.
Charges could mean up to 15 years
Earlier Thursday, Kilpatrick waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will head to trial on perjury and other criminal charges that could land him in prison for up to 15 years.
Lawyers for the mayor and ex-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty asked Giles to waive next month's preliminary examination. The criminal case now heads to Wayne County Circuit Court for trial.
Kilpatrick and Beatty are charged with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice. They are accused of lying about having an intimate relationship and their roles in the firing of a police official.
Both deny the charges.
Kilpatrick and Beatty denied under oath during a civil trial last year that they had a romantic relationship in 2002 and 2003.
But excerpts of sexually explicit text messages recovered from Beatty's city-issued pager and first published in January by the Free Press contradicted their testimony.
Giles asked the defendants during Thursday morning's hearing if they freely agreed to waive their rights to a preliminary exam and both said they did.
The judge then set a circuit court arraignment date of Aug. 14.
The preliminary exam — a hearing where a judge determines whether there's probable cause to hold a trial — had been set for Sept. 22.
After the issue of the preliminary examination was concluded, Assistant Wayne County's Prosecutor Robert Moran then asked Giles to punish Kilpatrick over the trip to Canada.
Canada trip was to sell tunnel
The mayor went across the border last month to push the sale of the city's half of the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
Kilpatrick was required to alert the court of all travel plans.
Moran asked Giles to modify Kilpatrick's bond because of what he called a "flagrant" violation.
After a short recess, Kilpatrick stood and apologized to Giles, saying it wouldn't happen again.
The judge then ordered a recess and came back with his decision. Kilpatrick stared directly at the judge with his hands clasped near his face as Giles announced his decision.
"I think it's the most extreme measure he can take. I don't agree with him," defense lawyer James Thomas said.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged Kilpatrick and Beatty less than two months after the Free Press published excerpts of the text messages. Fingerprinted with their booking photos broadcast across the country, the pair were accused of lying under oath about their relationship and about their roles in the firing of a police official.
More text messages released in April revealed the evolution of flirty and sexually explicit exchanges to professions of love and promises of marriage.
Kilpatrick and his high-priced team of attorneys have questioned the authenticity of those and other text messages, while fighting battles on several legal and political fronts.
A split city council voted in February to ask Kilpatrick to step down. The nine-member group later asked Gov. Jennifer Granholm to remove the mayor for misconduct and plans to hold forfeiture of office proceedings against him.
Through it all Kilpatrick has remained defiant.