With days to go before Michigan’s gubernatorial primary, Michigan Attorney General and Republican candidate Mike Cox is dealing with the fallout of a leaked affidavit that puts him on the scene of a long-rumored party supposedly thrown at the Detroit mayor’s mansion in 2002 by then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Cox called the allegations “bold-faced lies,” and says he’s never set foot in the mayor’s mansion. In an interview on WJR-AM, Cox suggested the leak of the affidavit was timed close to the primary to draw the most headlines.
In 2003, Cox investigated the reports of a party with strippers at the Mayor’s mansion, and concluded that the party “has all the earmarks of an ‘urban legend,’ and it should be treated as such.” But the family of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene, a stripper linked to the party rumors and shot to death on April 30, 2003, is suing the city, accusing it of obstructing her murder investigation for political reasons.
Now, in a sworn affidavit given to the Greene family’s attorney, an unnamed man claims to have worked security at the party — and to have seen Cox receiving a lap dance from a stripper. He also claims to have seen Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, assault Greene, according to The Detroit News.
The News identifies the man as ex-con Wilson Kay Jr., citing “people familiar with the case.”
Kay, who could not be reached, said in the affidavit he was a member of an unidentified motorcycle club hired to provide security at a party at the mansion in 2002. He said guests included the former mayor, the former mayor’s father, Bernard N. Kilpatrick, and Cox.
Kay said he saw Cox receiving a “lap dance” from a stripper and saw the former mayor’s wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, assault Greene at the party, punching her and striking her with a leg from a broken table.
Kay, 35, has a criminal history that includes convictions for possession of marijuana and felony firearm in 2001, attempted arson in 1997 and probation violations in 2000 and 2004, according to Wayne County records. He also has 1996 convictions in Oakland County for breaking and entering a vehicle and carrying a concealed weapon, according to public records. After a series of suspensions and violations for driving while suspended, Kay’s driver license was suspended indefinitely in 2006, records show.
According to The Detroit News, the Greene family’s lawyer confirmed that Kay failed to show up to a scheduled deposition last week.
The Michigan gubernatorial primary is Aug. 3. The TPM Poll Average shows Cox just barely leading Rep. Pete Hoekstra, 22.6%-22.3%, with former Gateway CEO Rick Snyder at 19.9% and Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard at 11.2%.
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com