DETROIT (AP) — The City Council's effort to remove Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at a trial-like hearing was blocked shortly before it would have begun Monday by a judge who ruled that the city charter does not give the council such power.

The ruling by Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski is a rare legal win for Kilpatrick, who has been charged with perjury, misconduct, obstruction of justice and assault. He still could be removed from office through a Sept. 3 misconduct hearing that Gov. Jennifer Granholm is to preside over.

Kilpatrick faces 10 felony counts in two criminal cases, one in which he's accused of lying about an affair under oath, another in which he's accused of shoving a deputy.