Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. Friday in federal court. See you then.
Live Updates EndedPlease read below for an archived view of this event.
Defense lawyer James C. Thomas questioned former nonprofit executive Donna Williams about payments to Carlita Kilpatrick by a group that received $150,000 in state funding thanks to Kwame Kilpatrick.
Carlita Kilpatrick got paid to organize peer mediation programs for kids even though she did no work beyond attending a few meetings, Williams testified.
At one point, Carlita Kilpatrick stopped attending meetings until the nonprofit was close to receiving another $150,000.
“Did she offer to work for free to make up for the fact that she hadn’t trained anyone?” Thomas asked her.
“No. She didn’t offer to work for free ever,” Williams said. “And she didn’t offer to work again until Vanguard got more money.”
“Are you clairvoyant?” Thomas later asked her.
“Really?” U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds snapped. “It’s not really a relevant question.”
Earlier, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked about Carlita Kilpatrick’s job performance.
“Was there a single kid taught…by Carlita Kilpatrick?” Bullotta asked Williams.
“No,” she said.
“Do you believe she earned the $37,500 by attending those meetings?” Bullotta asked Williams.
“No,” she answered.
Kwame Kilpatrick told an influential bishop to hire his wife after agreeing to give the clergyman’s nonprofit group $300,000 in state grant money, a witness testified Thursday.
“I was told by Bishop Vann that while I was on my honeymoon that Mr. Kilpatrick went to his home and told him he wanted us to hire her for $75,000,” Williams testified.
Vann, head of Second Ebenezer Church, was the Kilpatricks’ pastor.
A month later, in October 2000, the state mailed Vanguard $150,000. The money was supposed to be spent on arts and cultural activities for low-income Detroit residents.
Carlita Kilpatrick eventually received $137,500 in state grant money. She did no work for the cash and pocketed a $91,000 salary, prosecutors allege.
“While I didn’t like the circumstances of her hire I did like Carlita,” Williams testified.
Carlita Kilpatrick was paid in advance for developing student handbooks and a curriculum. She attended several meetings but eventually stopped coming even though she was paid $37,500, Williams testified.
“This was not a normal grant,” Williams testified. “It was not a normal relationship.”
“Did she ever refund any money?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.
“No,” Williams said.
Williams submitted paperwork to the state that included an invoice for work that was supposed to be performed by Carlita Kilpatrick’s firm.
Shortly after, Kwame Kilpatrick called Williams.
“He said I messed up, that I was not supposed to include the U.N.I.T.E. invoice,” Williams testified. “I thought he was angry with me.”
Soon after, the state yanked Vanguard’s funding.
Williams’ sister works as a federal prosecutor in the public corruption unit.
“Is the fact your sister is a prosecutor, did that affect your testimony today?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.
“No,” Williams said.
The nonprofit group that used state grant money to hire Carlita Kilpatrick was controlled by Kwame Kilpatrick’s pastor.
The nonprofit received $150,000 in grant money after Kwame Kilpatrick made a request to state officials in 2000, according to the indictment.
The nonprofit group gave $37,500 to Carlita Kilpatrick’s company U.N.I.T.E. The money was to provide peer mediation services to kids — but she never did the work, prosecutors allege.
By April 2002, U.N.I.T.E. had received $137,500. Carlita Kilpatrick got $91,000 and the couple used most of the balance for personal expenses, prosecutors allege.
Vanguard is referred to as Nonprofit V in the indictment. Vann was an avid supporter of the ex-mayor until August 2008 as the text-message scandal intensified. That month, Vann said Kilpatrick should resign.
Kilpatrick stepped down in September 2008.
Kwame Kilpatrick directly appealed to the state’s budget director for money that ultimately went to his pal Bobby Ferguson’s nonprofit group.
Kilpatrick wrote a letter in June 2000 to then-state Budget Director Mary Lannoye urging her for state grant money. He asked for the money to go to two groups, including the nonprofit entity Detroit 3D, which was formed by Ferguson, and another group that included Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita.
Lannoye was concerned after learning about Carlita Kilpatrick’s involvement and asked for more documentation about how the first part of the grant was spent. Carlita Kilpatrick pocketed $91,000 and her husband also received some of the money, prosecutors allege.
“I thought these grants were supposed to be for community grants to help nonprofits and not for a legislator’s relatives or personal gain,” Lannoye testified.
Kilpatrick complained when Lannoye asked for more documentation about how the money was spent.
From the indictment:
“In or about the Spring of 2001, KWAME KILPATRICK complained to a representative of the State Budget Office that the State wanted too much detail from Detroit 3D and Nonprofit V about how they spent the State grant money.”
She believed it was wrong for Carlita Kilpatrick to receive state grant money requested by her husband.
“It’s his wife,” Lannoye testified. “It just gives the appearance of impropriety.”
Lannoye is the former state Budget director under Gov. John Engler and Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s former chief of staff.
Under cross examination, Lannoye said there were no rules or procedures for providing state grants in the late 1990s and 2000.
Kilpatrick defense lawyer James C. Thomas quizzed Lannoye about her objections to Carlita Kilpatrick receiving state grant money.
“It raised a question for you, but that was an ethical consideration not a legal consideration, isn’t that correct?” Thomas asked her.
“Yes,” Lannoye said.
A former state Senate leader testified Thursday about a state grant that ended up benefiting contractor Bobby Ferguson and Carlita Kilpatrick, wife of former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Dan DeGrow’s testimony focused on summer 2000 when Kwame Kilpatrick was House minority leader. His testimony is aimed at addressing an allegation in the indictment that Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson defrauded the state out of more than $280,000 in grant money that was supposed to help children and seniors in the Detroit area.
DeGrow said Kwame Kilpatrick asked for money for two groups, including Detroit 3D, a nonprofit group controlled by Ferguson.
Detroit 3D gave $100,000 to a company, U.N.I.T.E., which was controlled by Carlita Kilpatrick, prosecutors allege. The money was supposed to be for teaching peer mediation to children.
Instead, Carlita Kilpatrick received $91,000 in salary, prosecutors allege.
From the indictment:
“Between October 2000 and April 2002, most of the $137,500 in State grant money given to U.N.I.T.E. was used for personal expenses for KWAME KILPATRICK and his wife, including $91,000 in salary to his wife, which, as KWAME KILPATRICK well knew at that time, was contrary to the purpose of the grant.”
Carlita Kilpatrick was not charged in the indictment.
Ferguson, meanwhile, spent about $100,000 renovating his company’s offices and repairing the roof, according to the indictment.
“Was the money you approved, in your view, permissible to be applied to pay for refurbishing of offices?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked DeGrow.
“No,” said DeGrow, who is how superintendent of St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency.
Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas asked DeGrow if it was unusual for a family member to work for somebody who received a state grant.
“I would say it’s unusual, yes,” DeGrow said.
Thomas asked if he was aware of former state Rep. Curtis Hertel asking for state funding for the Michigan State Fair, which was run by his brother John Hertel.
“I don’t recall Curtis asking for money but it wouldn’t stun me,” DeGrow said.
“Nothing further,” Thomas replied.
Ferguson lawyer Susan Van Dusen suggested some of the money spent refurbishing the contractor’s offices benefited the community because people learned skills working there.