Prosecutors zero in on payments to Ferguson nonprofit - New York News

Kilpatrick trial: Prosecutors zero in on payments to Ferguson nonprofit

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Lisa Shoemaker testified at Kwame Kilpatrick's corruption trial Friday. (Credit: WJBK) Lisa Shoemaker testified at Kwame Kilpatrick's corruption trial Friday. (Credit: WJBK)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Prosecutors have wrapped up their first full week of building their case for the jury in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

One day after the feds questioned pay outs to Kilpatrick's wife, Carlita, prosecutors zeroed in on payments to a nonprofit overseen by Bobby Ferguson's wife, Marilyn.

Friday was Lisa Shoemaker day in federal court. The Michigan budget official testified for more than three hours that state officials didn't like the way Ferguson's Detroit Three Dimensional Community Development Corporation spent state grant money.

$100,000 went to U.N.I.T.E., a company Carlita Kilpatrick created to teach conflict resolution. More than $79,000 went to refurbish a training area at Ferguson's headquarters. $25,000 went for temporary housing for seniors, and more than $20,000 went for professional fees for a total of more than $224,000 in taxpayer money.

Ferguson's wife, Marilyn, told state officials the money was used properly, and defense attorneys countered that if state officials were really concerned about the way the money was spent, they would've tried to get it back.

"Nothing illegal has happened and it's not just because of the presumption of innocence. They've said so. They had concerns. In may have been... ethical concerns, but even if it was an ethical concern, they never followed up on it ethically, and an ethical concern is not a basis for a RICO charge," said Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas.

Shoemaker testified that she advised her bosses it wouldn't be worth the effort and urged them to forget about it.

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