Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 70 - New York News

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 70


The attorneys are now gathered up at the judges bench. The Judge has excused the jury for the day. Shea will have to pick up his closing arguments Thursday.

M.L. Elrick and Charlie Langton will have a full report tonight on Fox 2 News. M.L. also has a interesting takeaway on the defense arguments the defendants will need to get out of this case as free men. No court on Wednesday, the jurors have the day off and so do we so I'll be back again in two days.


Shea says you'll have as much time as you want in the jury room to look at the deposits into Bernard's accounts. You heard the names of many of the clients. You can see checks with source information, and can see how many clients he had.

If a client did pay him in cash we'll talk about that...

Judge Edmunds lets a juror take a break.

Judge Edmunds says we should do that. There are several jurors under the weather. Maybe we should do that. Okay, she says, we'll pick up at 9:00 Thursday morning.


Says he wasn't to go back and talk about what is not illegal. Says even the Mayor's father can be a consultant. It's not illegal to talk to the Mayor as a consultant even if the consultant is the Mayor's father.

It's not illegal to talk about business opportunities. You heard evidence of all these things,. The rules don't apply any differently to him just because he's the Mayor's father.

Shea says he wants to go over some old ground. He's 71 years old, father of 3 children, Kwame is one of them. It's not uncommon to see him with his family in various places, like on the 11th floor, to see how his son is doing. His family is a political family. Mentions the congresswoman, Kwame's Mother.

Worked for the county, long local politics and public service.

Shea says when his son was elected Bernard had to leave County government. Says the thought was it was too close to have Bernard that high in county government when his son was the Mayor.

We heard about Curtis Hertell who became a consultant. Mentions other consultants. What do consultants do, they're the interface between a client who wants something and the government they want something from. Sometimes they ask about how a government operates. Or they need to make a complaint for them.

Many reasons someone might want a consultant. Why can't any of us do it. In order to do it effectively you need two things, contacts, personal relationships, people who are willing to take your call. And some specialized knowledge about how things work. It's a normal common part of public life. Lobbyists work in Congress or the State House or Senate in Lansing.

These people provide good service to their clients. The more knowledge the more valuable to clients.

Bernard Kilpatrick had what it took to make successful consultant. (Okay, that's just funny because Shea has made a big deal during the trial that many of Bernard's clients didn't get much benefit from his consulting


Judge Edmunds just told the lawyers that several of the jurors are feeling under the weather but want to try to finish our the day.


Lunch hour is over and the dense attorneys are starting to filter back into the court room.


Thomas is finished with the first of the defense team's closing arguments and the Judge calls for a lunch break. We'll be back at 1:15.


Did you see Miller pick up that piece of paper and put it in his pocket? That was my paper. He's not a trustworthy guy.

Karl Kado, demented, making up something about giving money when there's snow out and it's august.

Clift no corroboration.

Emma Bell, Oh my god. In the most important of your own affairs, you have reasonable doubt.

You've paid great attention and I appreciate that. The government is going to ask you for a verdict. I'm going to ask you for a verdict. Not guilty on all counts. Let Mr. Kilpatrick go home with his wife and kids. Thank you.


Court is in session. Thomas says if Bobby Wanted to give Kwame money he could have just called him up and said come on over and get it. That Mahlon Clift testified he brought it through airport security is incredible.

You heard the agent say he brought money through the security machines. But you didn't see that test. The money didn't go through any airport check point. How do I know that. Jensen, the guy that did the test, didn't put the money in his gym shorts, he put it under his belt. I'm a TSA guy I see a bulge like that I'd take him to a check point. I showed you that tape, the government didn't show you that I did.

Are you going to walk in that line knowing you had 90,000 in his pocket. Nobody is going to do that. It doesn't make sense, we have better sense than to buy that.

He got a ticket from Chicago to Texas, Texas to Detroit, no evidence of an airplane ticket. He said he stayed at the Antheneum, where the corroboration?

And why would Mahlon Clift do this. Seems to me when he was given an immunity agreement, he was being questioned but then the questioning stopped. He got his mom on the phone... and then came up with a magical story.

You have a lot of reasons to doubt this case, I've given you evidence of gifting that the government ignored, the three pillars, witnesses, reasons for you to think.

What is reasonable doubt, it's fair doubt, the kind of doubt that makes you hesitate in the most important of your own affairs. So you don't judge what it is in a vacuum. 11It's personal.


You heard about all the directors giving gifts, Kizzi giving 25 dollars, McPhail saying she gave 1000. The government completely ignored gifts. Mikhail's testimony was un-refuted. How can you get around that when trying to prove beyo9nd reasonable doubt. I said the investigation was flawed.

Judge Edmunds asks him if this is a good place for a short break. He says he can. And the jury is allowed to leave..


You heard Erik Rayford says the Board decided to give Kwame money because he was in need, for his moving expenses because he was now out of work.

You heard about the LaCosta Resort, the government made a big deal out of this. He's the Mayor, his wife is the first lady, his children went with him. I asked Agent Paszkiewicz why they showed that Kwame signed a contract. When I asked here under oath if he signed it she said yes. On the next day, there's no signature from Kwame Kilpatrick, willful perjury? Or mistake. And if it is why are we not holding the board to the civic fund to a higher standard?

We heard from Ron Sauer that he had no expert knowledge of 501-4. We heard Leeman who was eminently qualified, got sick couldn't come back. He's better now. We heard from the government expert, the independent opinion about what Sauer said or couldn't say. But he wasn't independent because he's working for the government. He didn't have independence but rubber stamped the investigation. Said he was a certified fraud examiner but he had to eat that the next day. He was suspended two years earlier.

There are times in this case when the government has extended the case too far.

You have agents that have gotten chippy, argumentative, pushed back. Remember the number of times I asked Sauer about gifts. If there is gifting going on that's a sign. Is the advocacy, motive. Those exhibits about cash receipts, that he spent more than his income, that's a flawed analysis. Leeman talked about science, he did science.

Thomas says Carlita's banking wasn't considered. Is that scientific. Sauer said to you he had no evidence of gifting. Sauer went to check on Marvel Cheeks birthday party, by the way there was a civic function to that. For the civic fund to be criticized for trying to make that a civic function. That's the same place he had the splash of red. There were 1500 people. You do the math. I don't want to do it again because I don't want to get into trouble.


Thomas moves on to the civic Fund. All the things you see in the original articles and the restated articles you have the bills from William Phillips, you have the bills, look at the bills, especially May of 2001. And when that news splash happened about Rutherford. I think you'll see bills relating to meetings, that Berg thought he was working for the campaign, but this was a civic fund issue. Why is this important? As it was for the Cadillac, other stuff. Gary Leeman said you can apportion different things for the fund. Kwame resigned as head of the fund.

When they says Kwame used the fund for his own purposes I want you to consider between 2002 and 2008 the government is talking about 13,000. If you look at this graph you can see the donor contributions were 1.7 million and total Kwame expenses were 13,000. These were alleged person expenses, .79%. for a person who did not take a salary, who did now claim expenses. For a guy who was a figurehead. (So I guess it's okay to steal if the amount is just a small percentage of the whole, eh?)


Miller had 5 meetings with the government where he denied knowing about Kwame took money. He's another bought and paid for witness, trading his freedom.

And what was he thinking about. Not his family, enlightenment? Hogwash.

And saying he wasn't a Christian any more. More hogwash. He says he gave Kwame money. The Asian village thing. Why send someone out to get money. So he wouldn't be seen. But he knows there are cameras at Asian Village. So he calls Kwame and says come to the restaurant? Come on. Are you kidding me? It doesn't make sense, it doesn't hold water, it didn't happen. He's the guy who can set people up to take the fall... and he's trying to do it with Kwame Kilpatrick.

And I don't know why Mr. Bullotta mentioned John Rutherford. He testified says he gave money to a fund controlled by Kwame but that's not true, they conceded that. ( It was a fund with a similar name and the government had to make that correction late in the trial.)

Says he bought suits, I asked him, was it force or did you expect remuneration he said no. Where is the crime?

And gifting? When the government says they have no evidence of gifting...

There's only three casinos in Detroit. You know he had no chance of getting a casino license.

And when they show you newspaper clipping where Kilpatrick says he's running for election and he doesn't want casinos and then he talks about expansion at Cobo hall that's a different thing.

I think the government played fast and lose with the text messages and that's something you can hold against them.


The government showed you what Emma Bell did with the money. I'm not trustworthy with math so I'll let you do it. This document prepared By agent Sauer shows what Bell did with her money. Bell had a problem with gambling, she kept the money. Spending on a daily basis at the casino.

That Emma Bell. She the first pillar. She could cry crocodile tears then freeze me with a stare, she's not a person who is credible.

Karl Kado, look at this letter from the Government. You're in trouble. He got a lawyer, three lawyers. Now you tell me, does that convey the message that the government wants something from him. Come in to talk, and he did. Do you think in the 50 calls he made to the government, why 50 calls, why 12 meetings. They already had the hammer. Those calls, those meetings, were to mold the testimony you heard. And god love him, he's an older guy, sat there so proper, he couldn't remember he gave money during the election, maybe that was lack of memory, maybe it was a bribe. Maybe he was trying please the government.

This man is a confused person, he's already earned his get out of jail free card. I feel somewhat sorry for him, but he tells you he gave money when there was ten inches of snow on the ground and it was August... Karl Kado, no a witness to be believed.

That's the second pillar.

Derrick Miller, took time answering the questions, to make sure he didn't get caught in any lies. But we caught him in a lot of lies. Remember hearing he went rogue and didn't show up a cabinet meetings. Jones Lang LaSalle was making side deals with him. He was looking for a big commission from Shumake. This had nothing to do with the job he was being paid for... and I submit noting to do with Kwame Kilpatrick.

He was able to get a big attorney to falsify documents for the Grand Jury. He was able to get people to perjure themselves.


Thomas says he thinks Emma Bell is a tough cookie who shed crocodile tears. She didn't pay income tax for 20 years. She his a large amount of money from the IRS. She was getting paid and paid very well. She was crafty, and you should look at that to see if she's credible.

She talked her banker into giving her untraceable bank checks. She traded 20 years of deceiving the IRS for her testimony. I think you can determine Bell's testimony in other ways. There is absolutely no corroboration she exchanged Money with Kwame. It's just her word.

Emma Bell had Money, Kwame had money, so the government says he got it from her.

Donald trump has a lot of money, Kwame was paying cash on his credit cards, the young man at the bank didn't think that was unusual. This is an instance where the government wants you to connect the dots.

We know Emma Bell had a problem with Gambling. We saw the record from the casino. She put into play 175,000 in 2005... lists her debts including 803,000 in 2008. That's an interesting year because Bell says she didn't have any income that year, she lost 82.000 that year. Did she really give Kwame money or did she lose it at the casino.

The government showed you a text between Beatty and Kilpatrick. She 'S giving them 50 percent of her fund raising. Kwame has a vested interest in her fund raising and he asks Chris for her phone number. He doesn't even have her phone number.

Here's a text from Dedan Milton saying Emma wanted to stop in later … What should I tell her. This may or may not have been in relation to a phone call. But they didn't who her this. Reply from Mayor: "tell her to come to Chris's office." Why, remember they told you she'd go the secret meeting room and pull money out of her bra. If Emma Bell is going to give secret money to Kwame why is he sending her to Chris's office. Why isn't he sending her to the barber chair room. I'll tell you why, because she didn't go into the barber chair room.

This is on the government. They didn't tell you, this is on them.


Court is back in session. Thomas says he has one more thing to talk about contract 1368. He says Bernard Parker was interviewed before by agents and Parker ran through the emails saying his business was worried about getting paid. Says he showed him the special administrative order, do you remember what his response was, he said wow, and why did you says wow. It was the first time he saw it. You can imagine he saw everything else, he didn't see this, the government didn't show this document to him because it didn't fit the government's theory, so you could believe that Kwame Kilpatrick wasn't being a good Mayor. We heard that wow, it was kind of an aha moment.

I talked to you about challenging the investigation. Which brings me to the next part.

The government is relying on 3 witnesses about money. Three pillars on a shaky foundation. Emma Bell, Derrick Miller, and Karl Kado. Who got in trouble on their own. They were facing prosecution and had a motive for implication Kwame Kilpatrick.

In my view they are bought and paid for witnesses. The currency, the hope of freedom and to trade their freedom for that of Kwame Kilpatrick.

They are concerned about what's in it for me. What is it that I can bargain for so I can get myself out of trouble.


Judge Edmunds asks Thomas to take a break. Thomas asks if it can be ten minutes. Okay. Back in ten.


You heard from Kim Harris, hearsay testimony, that his dead Boss in Human Rights, told him to de-certify DLZ. There was certainly evidence that it was not a Detroit Based or headquartered business, and didn't satisfy the minority requirement.

You heard him says his boss told him the mayor told him to do it. The dead guy is not here to testify and that's not fair, but the judge let it in. The government is trying to lay the foundation that a de-certification was requested and there was something wrong with that. That there was no de-certification process.

You heard from Sharon McPhail says there was a de-certification process.

You heard Bernard Parker says that based on rumors and innuendo that a contract was dead and the Mayor was responsible.

See the signature of Victor Mercado, (contract 1368) We talked about the contracting process, one through City Council and one through the Special Administrator. This was going through Council. You sees all the signatures, even the finance department in Feb. 2006. And council approved it in April. You saw emails claiming Kwame sat on this contract, but quite to the contrary, you'll see a special administrative order was entered within 4 days of the email claiming the contract was being held.

And on 12.23.05 you heard that the recount was canceled, and we know while Kwame was fighting for his political life he wasn't certain he was going to be Mayor in 2006. So what happens, right after Kwame wins he signs the contract, just f4 days after the email complaining about it. Kwame didn't sit on the contract.

Now, a crime? Or responsible government?


When Tony Soave took the stand... we heard about pass throughs, where most of the money goes back to the suburbs. When Kwame Kilpatrick said Charlie Williams wasn't the right guy for the job, a guy with no equipment, he was head of DWSD but he wasn't out there digging wholes. If you're the mayor of Detroit it's important to make sure the job gets done on time.

Kwame was looking for a new chief of police, had the police consent judgment going on, a lot of things for a new mayor who was only 31. You gotta see what Judge Feikens said at the end of Kwame Kilpatrick's tenure. Remember in Chutkow's opening statement when he said Kwame was fired. Look at the document from Judge Feikens, when you go through the documents judge Feikens says good progress is being made, the DWSD is in compliance, is making steady profess toward the end of the court's over-site. Is this someone the Judge had questions about or someone the judge lauded.

Water and sewage rates are reported to be the lowest in the nation.

Says Mr. Kilpatrick has been criticized about his text message with Bobby. We don't have the benefit of messages from Tony Soave, or others.

Regarding politics, you want to hear from your constituents. It's responsible government.

Mr. Kilpatrick didn't just meet with Bobby but because of the text message we only see what we see. Some of it is embarrassing, some not well thought out.

The government has the ability to listen to your most private thoughts. While the government might argue about these being the defendants true feelings, I had a lot of conversations with witnesses about what the inflection of words meant. Says Rob Schneider on Saturday night live could say Dude 50 different ways. Words alone without any follow up, you have to consider if that satisfies the governments heavy, very heavy burden.


we're living in a city that's a shell. If you have people who are working here and living here they're going to pay taxes here and spend their money here. So when the government show you that a contractor lost a contract because of equalization credits that's misleading.

There is a higher purpose than just saving money.

Thomas launches into a story about his high school friend now Prosecutor Tom Ryan, and watching his fellow lawyer make deals for defendants. Says because he was his friend his client could not get a deal. This case is the same. There's some of that going on with this case.

This case is about 11 contracts, mostly DWSD contracts. Do you remember what Gerald Latimer said, 40 to 60 contracts a years are let, and we're only talking about 11. There are hundreds of contracts left.

So now Thomas wants to talk about the climate of fear. That the judge has taken the position that a person can testify about what their perception was.

It kind of sticks in my craw when a guy worth millions comes in and says he had fear of financial loss. That doesn't make sense to me.

Hardiman and Rachmale came in and complained about losing a contract. Says I don't know if you remember my testimony, I mean my cross examination, but it showed the city of Detroit reserves the right to cancel a contract at any time. (As I recall, Thomas had been admonished at one point for testifying rather that asking questions.)

5 million, 10 million, for a contract that they planned on but had no right to expect. I have another equation for you 8 million, 157 million. They got to bid on the next one. They took that business from 8 million to 157 million dollars. Those guys are victims?

The guy made 157 million dollars. Was it logical what he said.


Thomas said we heard from a witness who said one thing in the grand jury then changed her story and downplayed Carlita's role at the Sherrard School. Carlita was prepared, highly motivated, and worked hard.

That witness told you she had a relative that worked for team investigating the Mayor, and that may have been a reason for her to change her story.

Thomas says it's a slap in the face to hear this about a women who offered to work for free after the grant fell through.

We heard about power and responsibility a lot in this case. But the witnesses from the state said while it may have been an ethical problem we heard it may not have been a legal issue. There was no crime here as it relates to the state grants.

It's smug on the part of the government to assume that Carlita would not be able to buy food or clothes from her wages and she earned that money and it's entirely proper to take a salary for work.

Thomas says regarding the RICO Offense, talking to a friend, otherwise innocent conduct, and look to a purpose, says he can says if he looked at it that way it could be proved. He says in his argument he's going to talk about Higher intentions, born on the cross examination.

Your heard testimony that Bobby Ferguson was good and what he did, that he had staff and equipment, you heard that mostly on examination.

If you were the Mayor and on the hook for the work, you'd want someone to do it who you could rely on, who you knew could do the work.

And remember Kwame had to answer to Judge Feikens.


Judge Edmunds, "Mr. Thomas."

Kwame's Attorney greets the jury, acknowledges the audience and says he finds it remarkable that after the witnesses were cross examined the story was different. He thanks the jury for their patience and hard work for so many months. Tells the jury that they are the ones who will decide the facts, it will be their decision to decide if the government has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Thomas says his client has been demonized by the media. That the jury should come to a conclusion based on the evidence. That when he asks a question and a witness agrees with him that's something to consider.

Kwame is presumed to be innocent his wife and kids are in the court room this morning. He's a father, a son, a man, who deserves your consideration.

Thomas says a lot of this case will depend on the credibility of witnesses. We've seen witnesses who have tried to spin questions sideways and not answer the questions.

Thomas says he wants to start out with the state arts grant, it was funded when Governor... Engler wanted to get his budget passed.

Says his client Kwame Kilpatrick as democratic leader of the house had the ability to help get the budget passed. That it's like making sausage, it's not a pretty process.

Says he's going to says a lot of bad things about Derrick Miller but Miller did says it was never intended that Carlita would participate as a contractor, it was after the contract was awarded that Bishop Van brought her in.

We heard that she did do work at the school and it was an important and helpful role.


It looks like a large contingent of Kwame's family has shown up to show their support this morning. I thought I saw Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and perhaps at least one sister in the gallery. Kwame just turned and waved to them. His wife Carlita and his kids are also in the gallery, the whole family.

"All Rise" Judge Edmunds says some of the jurors have switched places, to be close to the door because one or two are not feeling well.

Judge Edmunds tell Thomas to be aware of a good spot to take a break. He says he has about two and a half hours of material.


So how can the defense team pull a rabbit out of their hat this morning. If you heard M.L. Elrick on Fox 2 News the last few days you'll have heard that first they need to bring the hat. He's got a great view of the trial from the court room and his takeaway on today looks at how the defense team can counter the government's claims, like ignoring the advice from the lead defendant and letting the lawyers take the helm.


The court room upstairs is already starting to fill with spectators. The regulars, the court watchers Eddie and Roy, went up early to get a seat. Yesterday the Marshals were turning people away from the court room there were so many people trying to get in.


Good Morning from the Theodore J. Levin Federal Court House in downtown Detroit.  It's the defense teams turn for closing arguments.  This Morning Kwame Kilpatrick's attorney Jim Thomas will take the stage.  He's first up for defense team closing arguments.

Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News. You can contact him at


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