USDC to unseal Tamara Green lawsuit docs

For local conspiracy theorists, Christmas is coming early this year, as U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen said he’s unsealing some of the documents from the Tamara Green case. [Detroit Free Press].

The court will release the transcripts of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, two former police chiefs and other police executives.

Of course, “Christmas” won’t be as sweet as they might expect as several deposition transcripts will remain sealed, including those of former attorney general Mike Cox, who once famously declared the rumored Manoogian Mansion party that allegedly led to Green’s murder to be an urban legend. Others whose transcripts will remain sealed are former Kilpatrick chief-of-staff Christine Beatty, former city law department head Ruth Carter, Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita, and two former Kilpatrick bodyguards.

Worthy wants Greene evidence to stay sealed

DETROIT (AP) — The Wayne County prosecutor has urged a federal judge to restrict public access to the civil litigation over the unsolved murder of a Detroit stripper.

The news media’s interest must be trumped by the ongoing investigation into Tamara Greene’s death, Kym Worthy said in an April 29 letter to U.S. Chief District Judge Gerald Rosen.

Greene’s family is suing high-ranking police officials and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, claiming they stifled the homicide investigation in 2003 — charges those accused have denied.

Rosen is hearing arguments Wednesday on the media’s request to unseal documents in the civil lawsuit and stop closing court hearings. Rosen has said he’s taken those steps because he doesn’t want to harm any investigation.

Worthy said the restrictions should stick.

Seven years after Greene’s fatal shooting, any progress in the investigation "could be hampered by the improper disclosure of information crucial to the case," she said.

Worthy said the initial probe into Greene’s death was "woefully inadequate."

The sealed documents include the deposition of Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who investigated rumors of a 2002 party hosted by Kilpatrick and possibly attended by Greene. Cox has called it an "urban legend."

Rosen has ordered that Kilpatrick’s wife and father also sit for depositions.

Cox deposition wraps up after 7 hours

From The Detroit News:

Attorney General Mike Cox has completed seven hours of questioning in a federal lawsuit brought by the family of a slain exotic dancer, but he hesitated as he left the courthouse when asked whether his deposition is completed.

“I’ve done my seven hours,” Cox told reporters after leaving the deposition in the case of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene. “If the court wants anything more out of me, I’ll be here to provide it.”

Witnesses in civil lawsuits can only be deposed for seven hours without a court order to extend the deposition.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen last week denied a request from Norman Yatooma, the lawyer for Greene’s family, to extend the deposition. But he said Yatooma could make a new request if he still had specific questions he wanted to ask after the seven hours was used up.

Longtime nativity display on Mound Road loses in court

“A federal judge Monday put an end to a Warren family’s 63-year holiday tradition by denying their request to erect an annual nativity scene on Mound Road,” reports The Detroit News.

“In an opinion released Monday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gerald E. Rosen rejected a request for a temporary order that would have allowed John Satawa to put up the display for 30 days while he continues a federal court battle with the Road Commission of Macomb County.

“Satawa filed a federal lawsuit against the county in October on claims it violated his constitutional rights when it denied a permit for the manger scene. But county officials say the log-cabin-like display placed in the county right-of-way at Mound and Chicago was a public safety hazard.”