Detroit mayor's lawyer says she's losing witnesses

DETROIT (AP) -- Three lawyers are refusing to testify next week at a removal hearing for Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, possibly harming his ability to defend himself.

Kilpatrick's attorney Sharon McPhail is urging Gov. Jennifer Granholm to seek subpoena power, delay the hearing or press the witnesses to appear.

Granholm will hold a hearing Wednesday that could lead to Kilpatrick's removal from office.

McPhail says lawyers Sam McCargo, Wilson Copeland and John Johnson are refusing to appear. She calls it a "serious if not fatal blow" to the mayor's defense.

The Detroit City Council says the mayor misled it into approving an $8.4 million settlement with fired police officers. McCargo and Copeland had roles in that case; Johnson is a city attorney.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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