Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former top aide pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges they lied under oath about having an affair.
The mayor and former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty appeared for separate hearings in the scandal that is threatening to prematurely end Kilpatrick's second term.
District Court Magistrate Steve Lockhart entered not guilty pleas for each of them on charges of perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and misconduct in office. Both were released on personal bonds.
The two are accused of lying under oath about an affair and their roles in the firing of a top police official. Text messages first reported by the Detroit Free Press revealed a flirty, sometimes explicit, dialogue between the two.
All of the charges against the mayor are felonies. Under the city charter, a felony conviction would mean the mayor's immediate expulsion.
Kilpatrick has said he will not resign, and his attorney, Dan Webb, said forcing him to step down now would punish the mayor before he has had his day in court.