(WXYZ) - We’ve all heard the rumors about a wild party at the Manoogian Mansion. Now, Action News reporter Bill Proctor has exclusive video of a retired Detroit police officer testifying under oath that not only was there a party, but she says she was told Attorney General Mike Cox was there.
It is an explosive accusation, one Attorney General Mike Cox says simply isn’t true. Cox tells Action News he was not at the Manoogian Mansion that night—or any night. He says the story the retired officer tells just doesn’t add up.
“I absolutely wasn’t there,” says Cox. “I’ve never been inside the Manoogian Mansion. I hadn’t even met the mayor at that point in time.”
Attorney General Cox met with Action News to respond to the accusations made in the video-taped deposition of retired Detroit Police Officer Sandra Bavol-Cardenas. We first heard about her when she testified that she was the 911 dispatcher who sent patrol cars to the Manoogian Mansion on a disturbance call in October 2002.
“Approximately 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., I got one run, then we got several runs,” Bavol-Cardenas testified. “As a disturbance is how it came out…it being the mayor’s living quarters, that’s why it was high priority.”
Bavol-Cardenas’ deposition was part of the lawsuit Detroit police officer Tony Davis filed against the former mayor and the city. He recently lost his case. Bavol-Cardenas testified that officers who made it to the scene would later tell her they had trouble getting in the mansion.
“And they got to the scene, they couldn’t get in,” Bavol-Cardenas testified.
Bavol-Cardenas said a squad car was sent to Leslie Street where former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his family were living at the time. The squad car picked up Carlita Kilpatrick who had a key to get into the Manoogian. Bavol-Cardenas also testified that when Carlita got inside, things got out of hand.
“At that point in time there was a big altercation with Mrs. Kilpatrick,” Bavol-Cardenas testified.
But the new and stunning detail that Bavol-Cardenas also testified to is that officers who responded to the run told her Attorney General Mike Cox was there.
“Who did they tell you…who did they say was in the house?” an attorney asked Cardenas at the deposition.
“Mike Cox was in the house,” answered Bavol-Cardenas.
“Did more than one person tell you who was in the house...at least in terms of the mayor and Mike Cox?” asked the attorney.
“Yes, several officers did,” Bavol-Cardenas responded.
But Cox insists the allegation makes no sense at all.
“I was running as a Republican nominee at that time and it would have been pretty odd to have a Republican nominee for statewide office at a party at a closed-down Manoogian Mansion invited by the mayor of the city of Detroit,” says Cox.
Though Bavol-Cardenas testified that several officers told her Cox was there, she can’t remember the name of a single officer who told her this or the commanders who were there.
Bavol-Cardenas also never mentioned Cox when she testified in the case of the murdered stripper Tamara Greene, who allegedly danced at the rumored Manoogian party.
“Most viewers out there probably think some sort of party happened,” says Cox. “But the reality as a prosecutor, I need to produce someone who can come in a courtroom and say, ‘I was there and this is what happened,’ who can raise their right and do that.”
In this affidavit, Bavol-Cardenas gave in the Greene case, she says she dispatched patrol cars to the Manoogian, that officers could not get in, that Carlita was brought there and “an assault took place.” But she never mentions Cox being at the party and in a phone interview with Action News last month, Bavol-Cardenas admits her memory is foggy.
As Attorney General, Cox investigated the mythical Manoogian party and declared it an “urban legend.” Today, he stands by that conclusion.
“I can understand how, especially with what the mayor did subsequently, people all believe the rumors and understand he did a lot of things he shouldn’t have done. But in America, we can’t prosecute without evidence,” says Cox.
There is no evidence that’s been made public that there was a party. And Cox says he has never been inside the Manoogian Mansion—under any mayor. But a civil lawsuit and an ongoing murder investigation in the ambush killing of dancer Tamera Greene continues and much of the testimony in that case is under seal.
If you have a tip for the Action News Investigative Team, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (248) 827-9466.
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