Defense witness testifies staffers gave Kilpatrick cash gifts - New York News

Defense witness testifies staffers gave Kilpatrick cash gifts

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

We've heard a lot over the past five months about the Kilpatrick Civic Fund's spending.  Now we've heard from someone who said the fund truly helped Detroiters, then we heard how Detroiters helped the mayor.

"For the past several years, we were receiving donations from the civic fund to help us with the things that we do over there," said William Tandy of the Westside Cubs football program.

He says all his dealing with Kilpatrick's non-profit were on the level.

Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas still needs an explanation for all the money his client got over and above his mayoral salary.

"People give people gifts," said Thomas.

He says lots of folks gave Kwame Kilpatrick money legally.  There was a party at The Atheneum where Kilpatrick got cash.  There was a party at The Majestic where Kilpatrick got cash.

In 1995 when Kilpatrick had his wedding reception in the old Wayne County Building, he didn't ask for presents, but the invitations made his desires pretty clear.  It said in three little words "monetary gifts preferred".

Kizzi Montgomery worked for Kilpatrick in the mayor's office.  She testified that staffers ponied up for hizzoner twice a year.

THOMAS: Were you aware if there was any gifting to Mayor Kilpatrick?

MONTGOMERY: Yes.... The staff would donate money for a birthday or Christmas gift.

THOMAS: Was it required?

MONTGOMERY: It was expected.

Montgomery even said there was an informal scale for how much mayoral staffers should give.  Low level appointees gave $20 to $25.  Mid-level appointees gave $100.  Directors gave $500, and cabinet members gave $1,000.

"My office gives me gifts.  Many people have gifts," Thomas said.

While Thomas says it's common to give your boss money, I never have and, for the record, I'm not about to start.

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