*Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick demanded $25 million to settle his civil lawsuit against SkyTel Inc., the city’s former text-message provider, claiming the company violated federal law when it turned over his texts – containing sexually explicit messages with his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty – to attorney Michael Stefani through a police whistle-blower lawsuit.
Kilpatrick’s demand — revealed in a federal court filing obtained by The Detroit News on Tuesday — included $14 million for statutory damages, $7 million in punitive damages, $3 million in actual damages and $1 million for emotional distress and loss of future business and earnings.
The $14 million figure would have paid Kilpatrick $1,000 for each text message released to the public.
It is unclear how far the settlement talks progressed. SkyTel’s lawyers want to block jurors in the case from hearing about negotiations and offers, according to a filing Tuesday in a federal court in Mississippi, where the case is set for trial Jan. 30.
The proposed $25 million settlement would have let Kilpatrick pay off the approximately $860,000 in restitution he owes to Detroit.
In 2008, Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, resigned as mayor and promised $1 million restitution in a deal that avoided trial on multiple charges, including lying under oath during the text message scandal.
Kilpatrick went to prison in May 2010 for failing to make payments based on a finding that he hid or squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars.