In a Minute Michigan News Briefs

In a Minute: Michigan News Briefs

IN COURT - Detroit Free Press
Jul 19, 2005

Suit against Detroit chief, mayor to go forward

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings have lost a bid to dismiss a slander lawsuit filed against them by two cops.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Callahan declined on Friday a motion to dismiss the case in which the mayor and chief claimed governmental immunity for statements they made last year against the officers.

The statements came after a controversial June 2004 traffic stop involving Kilpatrick's then-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.

In their lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court, Officers Zack Weishuhn and Patrick Tomsic alleged that Kilpatrick slandered them when he said during a July 29, 2004, interview with WJR-AM (760) that they had set up Beatty, and that the stop was "the biggest piece of crap."

The officers stopped Beatty for speeding in June 2004. When Weishuhn approached the window of Beatty's city-issued Ford Crown Victoria, he said she asked him: "Do you know who the (expletive) I am?"

The suit also alleges that in July 2004, Bully-Cummings and Kilpatrick told reporters that the traffic stop was harassment.

Attorney Mike Rataj, who represents the officers, said Monday: "It was irresponsible for the mayor and chief to run their mouths."

No trial date has been set.