SOUTHLAKE, Texas (AP) — The wife of Detroit's embattled former mayor said she is happy that her family is getting a new start in an affluent Texas suburb and hopes her husband will soon be able to join them.
"I feel so wonderfully blessed … to have the opportunity to move somewhere and start again," Carlita Kilpatrick told The Dallas Morning News for a story in Sunday editions. "And to be happy. And to be enveloped and welcomed by a community with such open arms. I wish that people who needed a new start could have the same experience that I'm having."
She's trying to rebuild her life after her husband, the disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and ex-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty admitted to lying on the stand during a 2007 whistle-blowers' trial about having a romantic relationship and their roles in the firing of a police official. Both were charged last March with perjury, misconduct and obstruction of justice.
Kwame Kilpatrick later was charged separately with assault following an altercation with a Wayne County prosecutor's office investigator trying to serve a subpoena on an acquaintance. Kilpatrick, a Democrat, resigned in September after nearly seven years as mayor. He has been released after serving 99 days in the county jail after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and no contest on an assault charge. Beatty was sentenced to 120 days in jail.
The former mayor, who owes Detroit $1 million in restitution — $26,000 of which has been paid — and is serving 5 years' probation, needs court approval to leave Michigan. He has accepted a job with Compuware Corp., a subsidiary of Covisint.
Prosecutors want Kwame Kilpatrick to substitute the $3,000 monthly rent being paid on the Southlake home for court-ordered restitution. A hearing is set for Tuesday to determine whether he can travel to Dallas for job training.
"I'm ready to start anew," said Carlita Kilpatrick, 38.
She and the couple's three boys moved to Southlake in December, and she hopes her husband can join them soon.
Until then, she is focused on settling into her rented 2,800-square-foot home in a quiet neighborhood in the town about 25 miles northwest of Dallas. She shuttles her sons to practices and games.
Her older twin sons joined the school basketball team. They plan to run track this spring and, like many Southlake kids, want to try out for football. Carlita Kilpatrick said her sons have made friends. Teachers, principals and parents have also been supportive, she said.
She figures people around town know about her husband's history, but no one has said anything to her. She hasn't noticed any whispering, glances or glares.
"Nobody here cares about whatever has happened," she said. "Everybody is: 'You all are people; you're human. … We want to make sure that you all are doing OK.' "
She found a church, The Potter's House in Dallas, and started attending the Art Institute of Dallas to pursue interior design.
Carlita Kilpatrick visited North Texas last year for a Bible conference and "loved it immediately." Last week, she said it's hard to put into words what she's been through.
"I don't at all feel like I'm an anomaly," she said. "I know there are many women who have had to deal with things like me, or worse. It's never like I've done something above and beyond what somebody else has done. It's just that my pain was in the paper."
She said the move to Texas doesn't mean her family is angry or resents Detroit. It's about healing for her family.
She hopes to visit friends and supporters back in Detroit but for now, she loves living in North Texas.
"I couldn't imagine picking up and leaving any time soon," she said.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.