Judge allows ex-Detroit mayor to move to Texas

Detroit_Disgraced ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's remaining days in Detroit may be short.

A judge ruled Tuesday that Kilpatrick is allowed to leave Michigan for a software sales job just north of Dallas that is expected to pay him an estimated $120,000 per year.

He'll likely need the cash: Wayne County Circuit Court Judge David Groner has ordered Kilpatrick to pay $6,000 per month over the first six months of employment toward his $1 million restitution to the city.

Kilpatrick attorney James Thomas had asked last month that his client be allowed to travel to Dallas to train at Covisint, an affiliate of Detroit-based software maker Compuware Corp.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy opposed the request and said Kilpatrick was not forthcoming with all details about the Covisint job. She also claimed Kilpatrick was living a "glitzy lifestyle" without the means to pay for it.

"Defendant Kilpatrick's seeming reluctance to take payment of restitution seriously has been deeply troubling," Worthy said Tuesday in a statement. "Now that a court order is in place, we are satisfied that it will insure payment of the money he owes to the City of Detroit."

Thomas did not return calls or e-mails Tuesday seeking comment.

Covisint hired Kilpatrick on Feb. 10 - seven days after his release from jail. Texas already has approved his probation transfer to that state.

After six months on the job, Kilpatrick's restitution will be adjusted to reflect 30 percent of his gross monthly income, Groner said.

Kilpatrick may be in a hurry to leave Detroit.

Thousands of sexually explicit text messages between him and ex-Chief of Staff Christine Beatty were made public Monday.

Steamy excerpts first published by the Detroit Free Press in January 2008 contradicted testimony Kilpatrick and Beatty gave during a 2007 whistleblowers' trial when they denied having a relationship and their roles in the firing of a police official.

In September, Kilpatrick unexpectedly pleaded guilty to a pair of felony obstruction charges and no contest to assaulting a prosecutor's investigator.

As part of the plea deals, Kilpatrick stepped down as mayor, was stripped of his law license and placed on five years' probation. He was sentenced Oct. 28 and served 99 days of a 120-day jail sentence.

Beatty pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in January. She was sentenced to 120-days in jail, but is expected to be released in mid-April.

Kilpatrick's legal wrangling may not be over. His attorneys on Tuesday filed a civil suit in Mississippi against SkyTel, the city's former communications provider. The suit alleges that SkyTel violated Kilpatrick's privacy by releasing the text messages.

Corey Wilson, AP Writer © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.