Day 34: Cobo contractor reverses course, backs off bribery claims

Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado backed off bribery claims one day after telling jurors he paid approximately $360,000 to ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and a former mayoral aide.

The ex-mayor’s defense lawyer got Kado to admit it was his idea to give an initial $10,000 in cash to the ex-mayor, and pushed the contractor about vague details surrounding alleged bribe payments.

Under cross-examination, Kado said he is concerned that he is suffering from dementia. Kilpatrick’s lawyer suggested Kado cannot accurately remember interactions with the former mayor that date to 2001.

Updates have ended

View our archived coverage of Day 34: Cobo contractor reverses course, backs off bribery claims.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s father didn’t flinch after being sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his tax conviction and succumbing to a “culture of greed” that ravaged his son’s administration.

That is far below the 27-33 months sought by federal prosecutors, who labeled Kilpatrick a key cog in the so-called “Kilpatrick Enterprise” that corrupted City Hall and involved strong-arming contractors and steering city deals to insider Bobby Ferguson.

Bernard Kilpatrick, 72, must repay more than $62,000 to the IRS but won’t have to start serving his prison term until after Jan. 1, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said. He stood stone-faced alongside defense lawyer John Shea while listening to the sentence.

She also will recommend that he serve his sentence in Texas, where a daughter and Kwame Kilpatrick’s family relocated in recent years. The decision, however, will be up to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Last week, Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for heading a racketeering scheme that permeated City Hall. Contractor Bobby Ferguson, meanwhile, was sentenced to 21 years in prison last week.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

Bernard Kilpatrick deliberately decided not to pay his fair share of taxes to the federal government, a judge said today.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said he was lucky to have escaped convictions on racketeering and other charges.

“This defendant was involved in many of the ongoing acts of extortion that plagued his son’s administration,” Edmunds said. “I believe the evidence established Bernard Kilpatrick was paid because he was the mayor’s father.  Those who did, did so to secure contracts with the city or because Kwame Kilpatrick told them they needed to do so, not because of any value Bernard Kilpatrick or his company offered.
“Although would have enjoyed a handsome profit…he rarely if ever performed work in exchange for the payments,” she added. “He was fortunate to have escaped conviction on racketeering and other tax charges. He used his son’s position to make money for himself.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Blackwell

Bernard Kilpatrick should spend up to three years in prison, longer than other defendants in the City Hall corruption case, because he failed to cooperate.

“It would be patently unjust…for Bernard Kilpatrick, a convicted defendant, to receive a ‘light sentence’ when he went to trial and obviously did not cooperate,” Blackwell told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

“He was not acquitted of most serious crime: racketeering,” she added. “That was a hung jury. He is here because he threatened to blow up contracts and took payoffs.”

Kilpatrick participated in a scheme along with his son to use the mayor’s office to benefit themselves “and his family will have to deal with those repercussions,” she added. “Send a message that you will be held accountable.”

Bernard Kilpatrick outside court Thursday.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside court Thursday.

Bernard Kilpatrick had a gambling problem and led an undisciplined life but should not go to prison for a long time, his lawyer said.

“He should have been more disciplined in both his personal lifestyle and his financial lifestyle,” defense lawyer John Shea said. “He wasn’t and that’s why he’s here. It’s his fault.”

Kilpatrick spent vast amounts of money sending his daughter to an expensive college in New York City and didn’t merely blow cash gambling and on flashy suits, Shea said.

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, walks into federal court with his lawyers on Thursday afternoon. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, walks into federal court with his lawyers on Thursday afternoon. (Todd McInturf / The Detroit News)

Bernard Kilpatrick should be sentenced as a first-time offender who led a substantial life and is a father of three, his lawyer said today.

“We’re sentencing the whole man today, we’re not sentencing just a tax count of conviction,” defense lawyer John Shea told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. “We forget, I think sometimes, that Bernard led a substantial life for decades prior to his son becoming mayor.”

Bernard Kilpatrick caught an early break Thursday when a federal judge lowered his sentencing guidelines after concluding a $100,000 payment from Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado was not income.

Edmunds said there was not enough evidence to conclude the payment was income and that it was supposed to be a campaign contribution.

The judge’s decision lowered his sentencing guidelines to 15-21 months in prison.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court during the corruption trial.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court during the corruption trial.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds took the bench at 2 p.m. and will soon decide how much time — if any — Kwame Kilpatrick’s father will spend in prison for a tax conviction stemming from the City Hall corruption scandal.

Bernard Kilpatrick, 72, is dressed in a dark suit and flanked by his taxpayer-funded legal team, including attorney John Shea.

It does not appear that any Kilpatrick relatives are inside federal court. No sign of daughter Diarra Kilpatrick, whose college tuition was partially paid for by Kwame Kilpatrick’s nonprofit group, which was set up to aid Detroit youths, according to testimony.

The expense was one of several prosecutors described during the trial. The charity also spent thousands on tuition for Kilpatrick’s children and for a political consultant, prosecutors alleged.

IRS Special Agent Ron Sauer testified the Kilpatrick Civic Fund spent $2,500 on tuition for Kwame Kilpatrick’s sister at New York University and $1,000 for his cousin at Tennessee State University in 2001.

Diarra Kilpatrick is an actress who has starred in a number of movies and TV shows, including “Talking with the Taxman About Poetry.”

The charity also spent $1,500 on Kilpatrick’s other sister, Ayanna Ferguson, in February 2002.

Prosecutors introduced the mayor’s text messages to illustrate the point. The text referred to Ayanna Ferguson by her nickname “Bone.”

“Can we write Bone a (check)for $2,000?” Kilpatrick mistress Christine Beatty texted the mayor.

“Yes,” Kilpatrick responded.

Days later, Ferguson texted Beatty.

“I paged you yesterday, re: the transfer of the loot,” according to the text message.

Another $5,000 check from the charity paid for preschool tuition for the mayor’s children at A Step Ahead school in 2002.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Turns out the state of Michigan had a surprise for Bernard Kilpatrick late last year during the dog days of the City Hall corruption trial.

On Dec. 17, the state filed a $10,051 lien against Kilpatrick for unpaid taxes, according to the Wayne County Register of Deeds.

That tax bill likely won’t be the last on. Prosecutors want Kilpatrick to scratch off a nearly six-figure tax check after sentencing.

MullettA review of trial testimony suggests Bernard Kilpatrick beat a likely death sentence in prison following iffy testimony from a trio of convicted felons whose star turns on the witness stand were aimed at convicting Kwame Kilpatrick’s father of 20-year felonies, including racketeering conspiracy and attempted extortion.

In March, the City Hall corruption jury hung on a 20-year racketeering conspiracy charge and acquitted the political consultant of attempted extortion.

Who’s to blame? Unclear, but defense lawyers beat up a few of the government’s star witnesses — including James R. Rosendall Jr., a Synagro Technologies Inc. executive and FBI informant. He wore a hidden video camera, and a mullet, during meetings recorded by the FBI and shown to jurors during the trial.

Rosendall’s testimony focused on the attempted extortion charge, a 20-year felony. Prosecutors alleged that Bernard Kilpatrick tried to interfere with a sludge-hauling contract by extorting $5,000 from Rosendall.

Testimony indicated Rosendall repeatedly lied to Bernard Kilpatrick, who prosecutors said was demanding money for helping steer a $1.2 billion sludge contract.

James Rosendall Jr.

James Rosendall Jr.

During one call in December 2007, Rosendall concocted a lie to explain why he hadn’t given Bernard Kilpatrick any cash recently. Rosendall said company executives were concerned about reworking the deal to funnel money to Bernard Kilpatrick by adding his girlfriend, Akunna Olumba.

“So you’re giving Bernard another lie about why the agreement he’s been asking you to work on for him has not been reworked yet,” Shea said.

“Yes,” Rosendall said.

In the phone call, Bernard Kilpatrick complained about another consultant, Rayford Jackson, being paid more than $230,000.

Jon Rutherford

Jon Rutherford

“I’m very pissed off,” Kilpatrick said. “Ray out-slicked everybody, it looks like.”

Prosecutors pointed to Rosendall’s testimony as recently as Wednesday while trying to convince Edmunds to send Bernard Kilpatrick to prison.

“This collection of testimony showed that Bernard Kilpatrick was not a legitimate consultant. He was a criminal leveraging his son’s elected office to shake down city contractors…His guideline range of 27 – 33 months accounts for that reality. His sentence should as well.”

A second would-be star witness fizzled on the stand while testifying about Bernard Kilpatrick.

Homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford testified in October 2012 about hiring Bernard Kilpatrick as a consultant, paying him about $113,000 for no-show consulting work. Prosecutors said Kwame Kilpatrick and his father pocketed more than $500,000 in bribes from Rutherford in return for supporting the businessman’s casino project along the east riverfront. The casino never materialized.

Rutherford had a mixed performance as a witness.

He gave occasionally disagreeable answers to questions from prosecutors and defense lawyers tried to get U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to label him a hostile witness.

“I don’t see the justification at this point,” Edmunds said a year ago. “He was — I’m not going to say hostile — he was rough. But that’s, you know, who he is.”

In April 2006, Rutherford was indicted for diverting money from his nonprofit for personal use. He was convicted, sentenced to 21 months in prison and is due to be released from an Ohio federal prison in August 2014.

Marc Andre Cunningham

Marc Andre Cunningham

A third witnesses’ testimony had a rough stint on the stand while testifying about Bernard Kilpatrick and the racketeering allegation.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer ripped testimony that the father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pocketed kickbacks from a $30 million pension fund deal.

Attorney John Shea said testimony from former mayoral aide Marc Andre Cunningham was not true.

Cunningham testified in December that he was required to kick back a portion of the $300,000 he got from a financial firm that landed a $30 million loan from two Detroit pension funds.

Cunningham testified he was told during a May 2006 meeting at Mosaic restaurant in Greektown that “BK” had to be in on the deal. Cunningham said he agreed to pay Bernard Kilpatrick $3,000 to $5,000 every few months ”to thank the mayor for that deal, for making sure it went through.”

“If that was true, I’d be worried,” Shea told jurors during closing arguments today.

By May 2006, Bernard Kilpatrick already was working on the deal, providing legitimate insight into the city’s pension funds, Shea said.

Cunningham, the former mayor’s fraternity brother, pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy to commit bribery. He was implicated for his role in securing a $30 million investment from the Detroit General Retirement System and Police and Fire pension fund in a venture capital firm.

Doug Guthrie

Doug Guthrie

Kwame Kilpatrick’s former mistress and chief of staff Christine Beatty could have talked to any reporter amid the text-message scandal in 2009. For months, she was chased, but stayed silent.

In January 2009, on the eve of checking into the Wayne County Jail for obstruction of justice, Beatty broke her silence during a chance encounter with The News veteran court reporter and auto critic Doug Guthrie, who died unexpectedly Wednesday.

Here is his story, which he landed by being himself: a nice guy and a pro.

Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beatty: No way to prepare for jail

In preparing for today’s sentencing, ex-Kilpatrick aide relied on prayer, time with daughters.

By Doug Guthrie

The Detroit News

Christine Beatty sat at the counter of downtown Detroit’s Lafayette Coney Island with her two children, wondering how she would face going to jail for her part in the tawdry text message scandal.

“If someone knows a secret to getting ready, I’d like to know. There is no good way,” said Beatty, 38, glancing down the counter at 10-year-old daughter Maya. “Prayer is my answer right now.”

Beatty eye roll

For nearly a year, newscasts and front pages featured Beatty’s image and her most intimate personal actions. She is ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s former chief of staff and lover.

She will appear today for sentencing before Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice on Dec. 1. She was to get 120 days in jail and five years probation and was to be ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.

“It’s all about the time with my daughters right now,” Beatty said last week from the round stool nearest the grill and eatery’s Lafayette Boulevard entrance, as she shared french fries with her girls. “This was my seat when I was a kid.”

Beatty had given no interviews since the text messages became public nearly a year ago, and spoke only briefly during a chance meeting with a News reporter at the coney island. She had steadfastly refused to consider a plea bargain to end the ordeal, even after Kilpatrick pleaded guilty under pressure from removal hearings convened by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

Concern about her daughters had been at the heart of Beatty’s inability to say what she stumbled through tears to tell the judge when finally pleading guilty: “I lied.”

In the familiarity of one of her childhood haunts, she had a good-natured argument with 8-year-old daughter Lauren about sharing a plate of fries. And, she shook her head in solemn agreement that she wasn’t ready to go to jail.

A customer entering the crowded eatery stopped in his tracks when he recognized her. He blurted in wonder, “Christine Beatty. That is you. I, uh, I just want to say, good luck,” he stammered before moving on.

Beatty declined to talk about the controversies or her future while savoring a coney dog smothered in cheddar cheese, mustard and onions.

Her lawyer said her future doesn’t appear as bright as Kilpatrick’s.

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

“He’s the one who had the power,” Mayer Morganroth said in a separate interview.

Kilpatrick lost his title when he pleaded guilty Sept. 4, but promised a comeback.

He defied a deputy’s orders after being sentenced on Oct. 28 by handing jewelry to his wife. He also wanted to kiss Carlita goodbye, but instead left the courtroom to shouts from supporters. He went to a private cell in an exclusive wing for high-profile prisoners in the Wayne County Jail.

Beatty lost her marriage, her job, her reputation — and today, her freedom.

Her notoriety has generated acts of sympathy and accusations from the public, Morganroth said. But Beatty will do her time among the general inmate population. She will sleep in a single occupant cell, and will spend her waking hours with other inmates of the women’s ward at the Andrew C. Baird Detention Facility.

Kilpatrick is in the same building, finishing the final month of his 120-day sentence. His release is expected in early February. Beatty will remain in jail until mid-April.

Although only a few hundred of more than 600,000 text messages obtained by the prosecution have been made public, it’s clear the former Cass Tech High School classmates were intimately involved in 2003 — a relationship she and Kilpatrick denied under oath in 2007.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Divorce records say Beatty and her husband, Lou, another Cass Tech contemporary, were married in 1997 and separated in 2004. She filed for divorce in July of 2006. The order was finalized on Nov. 6, 2006. She got custody of the girls. Lou got the house that now is in foreclosure. She was to receive $600 a month in child support. She resigned from her $120,000-a-year job when the text scandal broke in January 2008.

Hints at work have come from in and outside of Michigan, but no one will offer a job until after she has served her time, Morganroth said. Her savings nearly are depleted, and her lawyer says he’s been paid only $4,000 from a defense fund drive organized on Beatty’s behalf.

Still, there are vestiges of the power that once famously caused Beatty to reprimand Detroit Police officers by asking, “Do you know who the (expletive) I am?” when stopped for speeding.

Despite her lawyer’s description of financial hardship, she still owns a $255,000 Rosedale Park home obtained with help from a program for low- and moderate-income loan applicants. She arrived at the coney island in her $60,000, cream-colored 2008 Land Rover HSE.

Demands that she report to jail a week before or the day after Christmas were among the major hurdles of her final plea bargain negotiations.

“She’ll never be ready to go. But what happened was some arrangements and some comfort to her and her children to make it so she could do what she has to do,” Morganroth said. “The girls will be back in school (before sentencing today). They will be staying in their home with her (Beatty’s) mother and I understand her former-mother-in-law will be helping, too.”

Beatty’s sentencing isn’t likely to end the unraveling of Kilpatrick’s City Hall. Federal authorities have called witnesses before a grand jury on questions about city contracting during the Kilpatrick administration. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy still is investigating possible charges against others implicated by the text messages.

“Christine is not a target, but I am convinced there will be indictments coming for others,” Morganroth said.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court in February.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court in February.

In light of Bernard Kilpatrick’s sentencing today, here is a 2010 profile of Kwame Kilpatrick’s father that was published months before a federal grand jury indicted the former Wayne County official in the City Hall corruption case.

Behind ex-mayor, a ‘maestro’ father

Like his disgraced son, Bernard Kilpatrick lived large in Detroit

By Christine MacDonald

The Detroit News

Bernard Kilpatrick showed the way. He paved the path to power for his son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Both were former college sports stars, taught school after graduation, gravitated to elected office and used political machines to rise in the ranks.

And both, former colleagues say, became intoxicated by power, a trait has them under scrutiny by a grand jury investigating the Kilpatrick era in City Hall.

Their fates may be intertwined, but Bernard Kilpatrick’s rise isn’t as well known and contains a few surprises.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

The man who vigorously defended his son — even likening his critics to Nazis — had paychecks garnished for child support by the courts. He’s known by two nicknames: “Big Goofy” behind his back and “Killer” to his face. He embraced a black nationalist church that shunned materialism but became enamored of mob movies and referred to his son as “Michael Corleone” from “The Godfather.”

“There’s something deep down in him,” said Larry Mongo, a businessman who has known Bernard Kilpatrick for nearly 30 years. “He wanted to be known as the top street guy.

“He wanted to be Don Corleone. It was the power. He was living vicariously through the mayor.”

For more than a year, the FBI has been investigating whether contractors seeking city work while Kwame Kilpatrick was mayor were pressured to hire his father as a consultant. A grand jury meets weekly on the public corruption probe.

Mongo said the name of Bernard Kilpatrick’s consulting firm, Maestro Associates, conjures images of a puppet master who capitalized on the office his son held from 2002-08. As soon as Kwame Kilpatrick was elected, his father’s persona changed, and he began wearing furs, big hats and diamond Rolex watches, Mongo said.

“For the first time in his life, he was the boss,” Mongo said. “Think about it. What is a maestro?”

And like his son, Bernard Kilpatrick, 69, has legions of supporters who say the media are trying to demonize him.

“I don’t think Bernard is a criminal,” said friend and businessman Harley Brown. “Maybe he didn’t know how to go about it at that level with his son as mayor. In his mind he was doing the right thing.”

This is the Indian Village Manor condos, where Bernard Kilpatrick's condominium just got sold at a sheriff's auction for foreclosure. It's located on Detroit's east side off Jefferson Avenue. Photos taken on Thursday, September 3, 2009.

This is the Indian Village Manor condos, where Bernard Kilpatrick’s condominium just got sold at a sheriff’s auction for foreclosure. It’s located on Detroit’s east side off Jefferson Avenue. Photos taken on Thursday, September 3, 2009.

Brown said Bernard Kilpatrick has a long history of supporting community causes, citing his support decades ago for a campaign to reopen Southwest Detroit Hospital, train minority doctors and give blacks better access to health care.

“We looked at Bernard as a big brother. He’s always had our best interests at heart,” Brown said. “He’s always been at the front of the black community and creating jobs for African-Americans.”

Bernard Kilpatrick has battled financial problems since his son left office, losing his East Jefferson riverfront condo to foreclosure this year and facing a suit over a $3,500 bill from a credit card.

He still lists the condo as his address, but has been living with his son in Southlake, Texas. He didn’t return phone calls. Nor did his attorney Bobbie Edmonds or Mike Paul, a spokesman for his son, return calls.

College ball to black pride

At 6 feet 6 inches tall, Bernard Kilpatrick is looked up to by most. And he used that height to his advantage in college.

Bernard Kilpatrick was an All-American for the Ferris State Bulldogs.

Bernard Kilpatrick was an All-American for the Ferris State Bulldogs.

Born in Detroit, the son of a postal worker, he drew fame at Ferris State, where he was an All-American basketball player two years in a row in the mid 1960s. The Northern High graduate led the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding for three straight seasons. (He was elected to the school’s athletic hall of fame in 2001.)

After graduating in 1967 with a degree in business education, Bernard Kilpatrick played two years with the Muskegon Panthers of the Midwest Pro League.

Hardcourt skills earned him the nickname “Killer,” his son testified in a 2008 police whistle-blower trial. But the officers’ attorney in that case, Michael Stefani, suggested the nickname referred to the elder Kilpatrick’s skill with women. “Big Goofy” refers to his stature and demeanor, his colleagues say.

Bernard Kilpatrick met Carolyn Cheeks at Ferris. A year after he graduated, they were married in Detroit in a ceremony performed by the Rev. Albert Cleage Jr., who founded the Shrine of the Black Madonna, a black nationalist church on the city’s west side.

The church and its political arm, the Black Slate, would play a major role in the young couple’s political careers.

Ernest Johnson, a community activist and executive assistant in Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano’s office, completed a 10-week intensive “ministerial training” at the church with Bernard Kilpatrick in the 1970s. The goal was to open more branches of the church in Detroit and across the country focused on farming and canning food for the poor.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick signals four more years after he moved past challenger Freman Hendrix early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005 in Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick signals four more years after he moved past challenger Freman Hendrix early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005 in Detroit.

“We were trying to free the world,” Johnson said. “The church tended to reject individualism and materialism. Watches, clothes and cars in the church aren’t impressive.”

‘The best of both parents’

Cheeks Kilpatrick headed the Black Slate when the group urged her to run in 1978 for state representative, according to an alumni interview with Ferris in 2007. Bernard Kilpatrick worked as a field organizer for the group and counselor at Career Works in Highland Park, and then ran successfully for Wayne County Commission in 1983.

It’s not clear when Bernard Kilpatrick left the church. Cheeks Kilpatrick cited irreconcilable differences when she filed for divorce in 1981, 15 years before her election to Congress.

Cheeks Kilpatrick got custody of the children. Kwame was 11 at the time and his sister, Ayanna, was 9.

“Kwame inherited a legacy — the best of both parents,” Bernard Kilpatrick said in 2001.

A year after the divorce, Cheeks Kilpatrick petitioned the court, alleging Bernard Kilpatrick owed $4,222.50 in back child support. A judge ordered his pay garnisheed, first from Career Works, and then in 1987 the court did the same — withholding $140 a week — from his commission paycheck.

Two years after the divorce, Bernard Kilpatrick had another child, Diarra Kilpatrick, from a brief relationship. He broke up with the mother a few months before the child was born, court records indicate.

“There’s an image out there of my dad and brother (Kwame) that’s so foreign to me,” said Diarra Kilpatrick, an actress and playwright who grew up in Detroit and remains close to Kwame and Ayanna Kilpatrick.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

‘A way to help Detroit’

On the County Commission, Bernard Kilpatrick was a part of a majority, including fellow commissioner Arthur Blackwell II, that battled then-County Executive Edward McNamara over his budget and legislative agenda.

The relationship changed in 1989, when McNamara took Bernard Kilpatrick to lunch at Opus One. McNamara, who was known to hire rivals, offered Kilpatrick a $90,000-a-year job heading the county health and human services department.

Bernard Kilpatrick later told The Detroit News he took the job in part because of the pay increase, but he knew it would end his chances at higher office.

“A lot of people … were mad about that,” Blackwell said. “They saw McNamara as the enemy.

“(Bernard) thought that was a way to help Detroit.”

Blackwell said he questioned the move, but in those days, switching sides in politics didn’t end friendships.

“We got a lot more stuff done,” said Blackwell, who went on to manage Kwame Kilpatrick’s mayoral campaign and now faces felony corruption charges during his time as the former Highland Park emergency financial manager.

While working for McNamara, Kilpatrick became involved in the political campaigns of many powerbrokers, including Blackwell’s 1993 mayoral bid, Michael Duggan’s 2000 election as Wayne County prosecutor, Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s 2002 campaign and his son’s mayoral bid in 2001.

Bernard Kilpatrick was a prominent part of the African American Men’s Organization, a club of influential black businessmen that was founded in part by casino mogul Don Barden. Kilpatrick took over for Barden as chairman in 2003, according to state records.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Son rises to Detroit mayor

Bernard Kilpatrick left McNamara’s office shortly after Kwame Kilpatrick took office and formed the consulting group Maestro Associates LLC, which has included many city and county contractors as clients.

Mongo said he and others in the group later felt betrayed by the elder Kilpatrick once his son got elected. Bernard Kilpatrick won the group’s support for his son’s mayoral campaign in part by evoking his battle with former Mayor Dennis Archer over Mongo’s plan to develop the riverfront Uniroyal site.

Bernard Kilpatrick promised his son would back developers like Mongo, he said. But Kwame Kilpatrick later gave the project to retired Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis. The project has stalled since.

Text messages released by prosecutors in 2008 showed Bernard Kilpatrick frequently discussed contracts with his son, finagled favors and gave advice about city business. Bernard used the handle “Ziz,” his name at the Shrine of the Black Madonna.

“I am going to deal with this one time … go ‘head Michael Corleone,” he texted to his son on May 16, 2003.

2013-0214-dm-me-kilpatrick0021

Some time later, FBI agents began investigating whether Bernard Kilpatrick leveraged his son’s position for his benefit.

They tapped his home and cell phones for many months. In court documents, he’s accused of receiving at least $25,000 from James Rosendall, a former vice president for Synagro Technologies Inc., for facilitating a $1.2 billion sludge-hauling contract in 2007. Rosendall pleaded guilty to bribery last year and was sentenced to 11 months in prison.

Allegations denied

Bernard Kilpatrick denied the Synagro allegations last year in an interview with WXYZ-TV (Channel 7).

“First they demonize my son, so by the time he got to trial, he was guilty,” he said, referring to Kwame Kilpatrick’s guilty pleas to obstruction of justice, jailing and resignation in 2008.

“They’re trying to do the same thing to me now. … How can they bribe me? I don’t work for the city. I’m a private businessman, a consultant.”

Bernard Kilpatrick’s consulting firm had business with companies whose leaders recently pleaded guilty to federal felonies.

Bernard Kilpatrik

He vacationed with Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado, who cooperated with federal prosecutors, admitted paying bribes for contracts and was sentenced in March to three months’ probation. Another client was Jon Rutherford, a Highland Park homeless shelter operator who pleaded guilty in December to felony tax evasion in a separate investigation. He has yet to be sentenced.

Ten people have pleaded guilty to felonies in connection with the probe and a spinoff investigation in Southfield, including two longtime friends and top aides to Kwame Kilpatrick — Kandia Milton and his brother DeDan.Brown, his longtime friend, said he hopes the “truth will come out.” He said Bernard Kilpatrick may have received bad legal advice from city attorneys on how to keep his consulting business separate from his son’s job running the city.

“We haven’t heard from Bernard,” Brown said. “There’s just been one side of the story and that’s it.

“I love Bernard and his son. It’s just unfortunate that things turned for the worse.”

A second daughter

Kwame and Ayanna Kilpatrick aren’t the only children of Bernard Kilpatrick in the public eye.

He has another daughter, Diarra Kilpatrick, 26, a playwright who produced a one-woman show in Los Angeles and has appeared on the TV shows “House” and “Private Practice.” In 2008, she was nominated for a NAACP Theatre Awards for her play, “The Devil is Beating His Wife.”

Her mother, Elise Woodson, who never married Bernard Kilpatrick, now lives in Los Angeles and said her life should remain private.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his father Bernard Kilpatrick walk toward the Gateway Deli for lunch during an afternoon break Sept. 18.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his father Bernard Kilpatrick walk toward the Gateway Deli for lunch during an afternoon break Sept. 18, 2012.

But Diarra said Bernard Kilpatrick has “been at every birthday party, every play.”

She grew up in Detroit, went to Detroit Country Day and was active with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. She graduated from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She said she’s close with Kwame and Ayanna, often celebrating holidays with them.

She said she’s confident her dad and Kwame will survive.

“I believe that about both of them. I look forward to (Kwame) paying his restitution so that he and the city can move forward,” Diarra Kilpatrick said Tuesday from the set of her latest TV show in Los Angeles.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court during a break in the City Hall corruption trial.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court during a break in the City Hall corruption trial.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson gambled they could beat federal prosecutors and lost, spurning plea deals that would have guaranteed shorter prison sentences.

Last year, The News reported that Kilpatrick had rejected an offer to plead guilty in the City Hall corruption case and serve 15 years in prison. On Thursday, Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years.

Ferguson also rejected a plea deal that would have meant 13 years behind bars. Today, Ferguson got 21 years in prison.

The deal, which Ferguson formally rejected April 18, 2012, would have resolved charges in the racketeering case and a separate bid-rigging case scheduled for retrial in January.

Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson was sentenced to 21 years in prison Friday by a federal judge who blamed him for putting a stranglehold on city contracts during the reign of his pal, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds faulted Ferguson for weakening the moral of the city and focused on his involvement extorting businessmen who sought city deals.

“Bobby Ferguson was the catalyst, at the center of an unprecedented and historic extortion scheme,” Edmunds said.

Ferguson appeared stunned by the sentence, stared at the judge with his mouth wide open for several seconds and took a series of deep breaths. Earlier, he snickered and whispered in his lawyer’s ear while the judge discussed his various crimes.

After Edmunds announced the sentence and left the bench, Ferguson stood up, turned to his lawyer Mike Rataj and shrugged.

Before being handcuffed and escorted out of the courtroom by a deputy U.S. Marshal, Ferguson handed his Bible to Rataj.

Ferguson teamed with Kilpatrick to rig city contracts and extort businessmen who sought taxpayer-funded deals. In all, prosecutors say he received more than $73 million in crooked contracts.

The judge said Ferguson has a history of hot-headedness, bullied his way into anything he wanted and hid assets from the government.

“The impact on the morale of the city of Detroit cannot be overstated,” the judge said.

In a hushed voice and during a speech heavy with religious references, Bobby Ferguson complained about the criminal justice system Friday and its treatment of black men and insisted he did nothing wrong to warrant a conviction or prison sentence.

Ferguson, who has rarely, if ever commented publicly about the City Hall corruption case, complained about the criminal justice system and made repeated references to God and quoted a Bible passage. He did not apologize or admit guilt for helping Kwame Kilpatrick orchestrate a racketeering scheme in City Hall.

“I’m trying to understand the America I live in,” Ferguson told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. “I pray and ask the Lord that he continues to bless my (5) children.

He said his sentencing coincides with his estranged wife’s birthday.

Ferguson has spent seven months in prison after being found guilty in March.

“I’ve lived a good life,” Ferguson said, “maybe not to fullest or to someone’s expectations.”

Ferguson says he is a man of few words and worries his words will be misinterpreted.

“The only thing I know that can’t be interpreted is the word of God,” Ferguson said.

During his short speech, Ferguson said a fellow convict had wished him luck.

“There’s no luck here,” Ferguson replied.

Bobby Ferguson was emboldened when several violent crimes committed in his youth went largely unpunished and led to a racketeering scheme involving his pal, ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a prosecutor said today.

“Mr. Ferguson was the muscle and the money man,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta told the judge. “If this was a traditional organized crime case, he would be the guy who came to your shop and said ‘you have a beautiful place here, it would be a shame if something happened.”

He cited an incident from Ferguson’s past when he was accused of threatening a Detroit police officer to drop an environmental complaint.

“When citizens voted for Kwame Kilpatrick,  they had no clue they were enabling Mr. Ferguson to exercise enormous power over city government in the shadows of Kwame Kilpatrick,” Bullotta said.

Bobby Ferguson and lawyer Gerald Evelyn, left.

Bobby Ferguson and lawyer Gerald Evelyn, left.

Bobby Ferguson is a good father and a successful businessman who built a construction company in a “tough bare-knuckled industry” but his life has “come crashing down,” the contractor’s defense lawyer said Friday.

Ferguson listened closely, dressed in tan prison uniform and wearing a chain with a cross around his neck.

Attorney Gerald Evelyn is pleading with U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds for a lighter prison sentence, one day after his friend and co-defendant Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

“You have letters from his family and his kids that show, and I think really demonstrate that he has been a good father, that they depend on him and that he has directed them morally to stay on the right path,” Evelyn told the judge.

“He is no longer giong to be the man that he was,” Evelyn said. “There is no chance that Bobby is going to be in the construction industry again. His company has been destroyed. His life has come crashing down around him.”

Evelyn tried to soften Ferguson’s reputation for violence and criminal behavior.

“He has been portrayed as some evil, aggressive, hard-driving person who ran over people,” Evelyn said. “He had to be hard-driving to be a success but he has a softer side, a tender side. That’s a side everyone who has come into contact with him has come to know. Sentence the entire person.”

Kwame Kilpatrick, left, and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court during the City Hall corruption trial.

Kwame Kilpatrick, left, and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court during the City Hall corruption trial.

Bobby Ferguson, wearing darkly tinted glasses, projected a cool demeanor in federal court today, joking with his lawyers, flashing smiles and animatedly listening to his lawyers and prosecutors argue over his sentencing guidelines, which call for 360 months to life in prison.

At one point, Ferguson yawned while defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn tried to reduce the sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors want Ferguson to spend up to 28 years in prison.

Lawyer Gerald Evelyn, left, and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court earlier this year.

Lawyer Gerald Evelyn, left, and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court earlier this year.

A dramatically thinner Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson arrived for his 10 a.m. sentencing in handcuffs, wearing a tan prison uniform and a broad smile.

The normally burly Ferguson laughed after hugging defense lawyer Susan Van Dusen, who once defended mobster John Gotti — when the Teflon failed and he was convicted.

Ferguson appeared at ease, a sharp contrast to Kwame Kilpatrick’s appearance in court Thursday.

Edmunds will listen to sentencing objections from Ferguson lawyer Gerald Evelyn, which touch on the amount of money the city lost through corrupt contracts.

 

Bobby Ferguson outside federal court for an earlier hearing.

Bobby Ferguson outside federal court for an earlier hearing.

There is an early shocker ahead of Bobby Ferguson’s 10 a.m. sentencing: His estranged wife, Marilyn, is seated in the courtroom gallery.

The News broke the story Sunday that Marilyn Ferguson had filed for divorce days ahead of the sentencing.

From The News story:

A divorce would end a marriage to one of the most notorious public figures in recent Detroit history. It’s a marriage that endured despite alleged affairs and mistresses who testified during two federal criminal cases against Bobby Ferguson.

Marilyn Ferguson, 46, factored into one of the most scandalous incidents from Bobby Ferguson’s past. In 2005, he was convicted of pistol-whipping a former employee who Ferguson accused of calling Marilyn late at night.

The man, Kennedy Thomas, won a $2.6 million jury verdict against Ferguson in 2007 but has spent years trying to collect on the payday amid appeals.

Defense lawyer Susan Van Dusen, left, seen with Kwame Kilpatrick, center, and Bobby Ferguson at the federal courthouse in August 2012. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Defense lawyer Susan Van Dusen, left, seen with Kwame Kilpatrick, center, and Bobby Ferguson at the federal courthouse in August 2012. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Federal prosecutors chronicle Bobby Ferguson’s history of violence years before he met former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and helped orchestrate a racketeering conspiracy inside City Hall.

According to the feds, Ferguson has a long history of violent crimes and intimidation and had more weapons than Ammu-Nation, the Grand Theft Auto gun shop. Defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn said the government “vastly overstates the seriousness of his prior offenses and contact with law enforcement.”

From the government’s sentencing memo:

Baseball bat attack:

On August 5, 1988, a year before he turned 21, Ferguson and an underage friend attempted to enter a sports bar in Farmington Hills with fake identifications. According to the Farmington Hills Police Department reports, the doorman refused to accept the fake identifications tendered by Ferguson and his friend. Ferguson went to his car, retrieved a wooden baseball bat and hit the doorman on the head with the bat, causing him to fall to the ground.

When a second employee of the sports bar tried to protect the doorman from further attack by Ferguson, Ferguson struck that employee in the knees twice with the bat, knocking him to ground. Ferguson and his friend went to their car, removed its license plate and drove away, leaving behind the bloodied doorman and kneecapped employee. Ferguson was later arrested and police recovered the baseball bat and Ferguson’s fake identification.

Ferguson was charged with felony assault with bodily harm, but was allowed to plead guilty pursuant to the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), and received a sentence of two years probation.

High-powered rifle attack

Just seven months later, Ferguson fired a Tech-9 semi-automatic rifle into a crowd of people. According to Detroit Police Department reports, on the evening of March 24, 1989, Ferguson and a friend got into an altercation with two young men. Ferguson and his friend obtained Tech- 9 rifles from a home on MacKenzie Street and opened fire into a crowd of people. A 19-year-old was shot in the chest and a 17-year-old was shot in his backside. Ferguson was later arrested and charged with attempted murder, but the victims and witnesses failed to appear for the preliminary exam, so the case was dismissed.

Bobby Ferguson, left, and lawyer Gerald Evelyn, right, outside federal court in June 2012.

Bobby Ferguson, left, and lawyer Gerald Evelyn, right, outside federal court in June 2012.

Bobby Ferguson’s criminal record likely will haunt him during the 10 a.m. sentencing in federal court as supporters portray him as a “hero” dad and mentor to minority businessmen while prosecutors label him a pistol-whipping thug and crook.

The dueling portraits emerged in sentencing memos filed ahead of today’s sentencing.

Ferguson’s defense team filed a letter with the court written by daughter Brittany Ferguson, 23. She called her father a hero and protector, praised his work ethic and the impact he had on the family.

“I never thought I would have to visit my father in jail and I especially never imagined my daughter having to visit her grandfather in jail. Life isn’t fair and I’ve learned that. I really miss my dad and sometimes I cry because I can’t call him and see him whenever I like.”

She called her father a hero and a protector.

“I am blessed and thankful to have a loving, strong, caring and disciplinary man in my life. He showed me what my sisters and I should expect in a man.”

From the government’s memo:

“Ferguson’s use of violence and intimidation continued during the time of the racketeering conspiracy charged in this case. According to court records and sworn testimony, on October 6, 2004, Ferguson called one of his subordinate employees, Kennedy Thomas, into in his office at Ferguson Enterprises. There, Ferguson pulled a gun from his waistband and put it on his desk with the barrel pointed towards Thomas.

Ferguson demanded to know why Thomas had called Ferguson’s wife late in the evening. While Thomas was explaining that he did not contact Ferguson’s wife, Ferguson struck Thomas on the head with the handgun nine times, knocking Thomas to the floor. Ferguson picked Thomas up and slammed him into a wall. Then he held the gun up to Thomas’s cheek and said that he should kill him. Thomas thought he was about to be killed. Fortunately, he was able to escape from Ferguson’s office building.”

In 2005, Ferguson was convicted of pistol-whipping Thomas. The former employee won a $2.6 million jury verdict against Ferguson in 2007 but has spent years trying to collect on the payday amid appeals.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the federal courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the federal courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson will have a short shuttle to federal court for his 10 a.m. sentencing because he was transferred Thursday to the Wayne County Jail.

Ferguson, 44, has been held at the federal prison in Milan but has bounced between the federal lockup and the Wayne County Jail to accommodate hearings in the corruption case and a separate bid-rigging trial.

Wayne County Jail records indicate Ferguson checked into the county jail Thursday and he likely will stay in Michigan in the short term until the bid-rigging case is resolved in federal court.

The bid-rigging trial is scheduled for January but the case could be resolved earlier depending on today’s sentence.

2013-0103-dc-kwame009T

A stiff, though not necessarily record-breaking, public corruption sentence could eliminate the need for federal prosecutors to retry Bobby Ferguson next year on bid-rigging charges.

Today’s sentence will go a long way toward determining whether Ferguson is retried on charges he rigged bids. In the bid-rigging case, he faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

Ferguson, 44, was indicted in September 2010 on eight federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money. The case ended in a mistrial last year.

Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison Thursday, one of the harshest corruption sentences in U.S. history for turning City Hall into a money-making criminal enterprise.

Kilpatrick appeared stunned at the sentence and stared blankly for several seconds before finally blinking while U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds finished reading the sentence.

Edmunds faulted Kilpatrick for waging a prolonged period of corruption that stretched from his time in the state House of Representatives to the Detroit mayor’s office.

“We have lost transparency, we lost accountability,” Edmunds told Kilpatrick. “So much city business was done behind closed doors, with no one looking into it until the press got hold of some of it.”

The judge said it was hard to put a pricetag on how much Kilpatrick’s six-year corruption spree cost the city but she stopped short of blaming the former mayor for the city’s historic bankruptcy filing.

“It was citizens of Detroit that suffered when they handed over their hard earned tax dollars to the city,” Edmunds said.

“One of the sad things was this man chose to waste his talents on personal aggrandizement and enrichment when he had the potential to do so much for the city,” she added.

She credited Kilpatrick for his emotional speech today but didn’t spare him from what is tied with the longest sentence for someone convicted of public corruption in U.S. history.

Until today, Kilpatrick “generally showed little remorse for any of the activity in which he was tried and convicted,” the judge said.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said the sentence is more about shaping the future than punishing Kilpatrick for his prior actions.

“A significant sentence like this one will deter other officials from stealing from the people and will attract honest public servants to office,” McQuade said in a statement.

The sentence is twice as long as the sentence former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is serving in prison. And it matches the 28-year sentence given to former Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Kwame Kilpatrick used his powers as mayor and as a state Representative to steer contracts and state money to his pal Bobby Ferguson, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said.

Kilpatrick pushed contractors out of business and headed a criminal enterprise that lasted for six years and generated large sums of cash for Kilpatrick, she said.

Kilpatrick used his powers as mayor to “to steer an astounding amount of work to Mr. Ferguson” and forced other minority contractors out of work.

The judge is recapping convictions stemming from the five-month City Hall corruption trial, noting that Kilpatrick spent donations to his nonprofit group on personal expenses.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s surprise speech lasted about 10 minutes and featured a blend of regret, emotion, defiance and tried to strip away his reputation as an arrogant crook.

He took responsibility, said he respects the jury verdict, but disagrees with it. He choked up while talking about his father and said prosecutors were wrong to conclude he stole any money.

The speech was self serving and apologetic. Kilpatrick credited himself for spurring economic development and mentioned the city’s three casinos and Westin Book Cadillac hotel redevelopment project.

Whether his speech prompts U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to issue a sentence closer to the 15 years sought by defense lawyers or at least 28 years sought by prosecutors will be revealed soon.

Edmunds is expected to come back into court at 12:45 p.m. and issue the sentence.

Insisting he is incredibly remorseful, Kwame Kilpatrick insists he never stole money from the city and defended himself against allegations he rigged bids with contractor Bobby Ferguson.

However the former Detroit mayor says he regrets exchanging texts with Ferguson that “blurred the lines of impropriety.”

Kilpatrick admitted he has “been a tremendous problem.”

“I know the city’s going through a tremendous bankruptcy,” Kilpatrick told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. “I want the city to be great again.

“I know your honor wants closure as well. I do too. I want the city to be able to fully participate and focus on things other than me. It’s over.

Kwame Kilpatrick apologized repeatedly, and his voice choked back tears while praising his father, calling him a “good man.”

Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, will be sentenced Oct. 17 on a single tax charge.  Bernard did nothing wrong, Kwame Kilpatrick said.

As for himself, Kwame Kilpatrick said he was a great father after the 2008 text-message scandal until March 11, when he was convicted of 24 charges.

Kwame Kilpatrick stripped away his reputation as an arrogant man who loved flashy suits and the jet-setting lifestyle.

He called his image “false confidence.”

“I believed the city could be great. I tried to wear that on my shoulders and sleeves,” Kilpatrick said.

He touched on the text-message scandal, saying he “really messed up.”

“I was mad at people for finding out,” he told the judge.  “I didn’t realize then that I beat down the spirit and energy and vibrance of what was going on in the city.”

Speaking in a near whisper, Kwame Kilpatrick apologized to the judge today and said he is ready to go to prison.

“We’ve been stuck in this town for a very long time dealing with me,” Kilpatrick said before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sends him to prison. “I’m ready to go so the city can move on.”

Kilpatrick praised prosecutors, specifically Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow.

“All I wanted to do was be mayor. I didn’t want to be president. I didn’t want to be governor. That’s all I wanted to do.”

But six months into the job, he “absolutely hated” being mayor.”

“It was the hardest thing,” he said.

Harold Gurewitz

Harold Gurewitz

The government’s recommendation that Kwame Kilpatrick spend at least 28 years in prison is unnecessary, his lawyer said.

That would be one of the longest corruption sentences in U.S. history.

“It goes beyond what’s necessary,” defense lawyer Harold Gurewitz told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

He urged the judge to sentence Kilpatrick to no more than 15 years.

Kwame Kilpatrick is no stranger to the clang and echo of a prison cell door slamming shut, his lawyer said during sentencing today.

The memory is deterrence enough to stop Kilpatrick from committing another crime once released from prison in the City Hall corruption case, defense lawyer Harold Gurewitz said.

“I don’t say this for the court to feel sorry for Mr. Kilpatrick. I suggest that Mr. Kilpatrick knows the impact and meaning of incarceration,” Gurewitz said.The lawyer is pushing for a maximum 15-year sentence. Prosecutors want at least 28 years.Fifteen years “is still an enormously long time in anyone’s life and in a life of somebody at the age of Mr. Kilpatrick (43), who has a great deal of potential ability left to use in productive ways,” Gurewitz said.

Kwame Kilpatrick is tall and good-looking, his lawyer, before tracing the future Detroit mayor’s childhood, path through college, a brief teaching career and political life.

Defense lawyer Harold Gurewitz praised his client, and said the former mayor will address the court before being sent to prison.

The lawyer said Kilpatrick got into public service to make life better in Detroit. He credited Kilpatrick with generating economic development after being elected in 2001, though federal prosecutors say by then he had already embarked on a path of corruption.

Gurewitz also briefly complained about the lack of publicity surrounding the City Hall corruption case.

“It is hard to think of an adjective to describe the amount of publicity around this case,” Gurewitz told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

He briefly  touched on Kilpatrick’s criminal record, including a jail sentence for obstruction of justice stemming from the text-message scandal.

“He recognizes those things impacted his ability to lead; impacted his marital life,” Gurewitz said. “He hoped at one time use his talents for the good of the community. That can no longer happen. He recognizes that and hopes to use them in a productive way in the future.”

Kwame Kilpatrick’s immediate family did not appear for sentencing today in federal court.

No wife, no kids, no father, no mother. One cousin showed up, Ajene Evans, and Kilptatrick spent a brief break chatting with him and a handful of other unidentified men.

His immediate family attended closing arguments during the corruption trial, including his wife and three sons, who traveled from their home in Texas.

Prosecutors are expected to be short and sweet during their final comments to U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. They filed a 57-page sentencing memo and will largely rely on that.

Once Kilpatrick’s defense lawyers are finished, Kilpatrick will get a chance to make a statement, apologize, rant or rail.

The sentencing is moving faster than expected. Prosecutors and defense lawyers will get a final shot at reducing Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentence and the former Detroit mayor will have a chance to speak directly to the judge.

It is unclear whether Kilpatrick will speak. He did not testify during the five-month trial but legal experts say he could shave as much as two years off a prison sentence by expressing remorse or apologizing.

Kilpatrick has a large yellow legal pad in front of him though it is unclear if he has any prepared comments to deliver to U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentencing guidelines, which call for life in prison, are unfairly high and comparable to felons convicted of violent crimes, his attorney said today.

Lawyer Margaret Sind Raben is trying to shorten the possible sentence before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sets the number of years Detroit’s former mayor will spend in prison.

Kilpatrick’s criminal record is overstated and resulted in a sentencing guideline range that “far exceeds sentencing guidelines for those convicted of violent crimes,” Sind Raben told the judge.

Kilpatrick’s criminal record, including an obstruction of justice conviction, and repeated brushes with the law and problems paying $1 million in restitution to the city, also factor into the former mayor’s sentencing guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

Kwame Kilpatrick scored a minor, early victory after U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds slashed the amount of profit from corrupt contracts that will be attributed to the former mayor and his pal, contractor Bobby Ferguson.

Edmunds said $9.6 million could be attributed to Kilpatrick and Ferguson but she wanted to use the most conservative number possible and concluded the profit total is $4.6 million.

The judge’s decision appeared to energize Kilpatrick, who had sat through the hearing staring blankly and absentmindedly stroking his goatee.

The profit total will factor into Kilpatrick’s sentencing guidelines before the judge decides today how much time the former mayor will spend in federal prison.

The contrast between Kwame Kilpatrick pre-conviction and today is striking. He played to the cameras on a daily basis during the trial, smiling and smirking and jousting with reporters and passersby during daily walks to and from the courthouse.

Today, he looks grim. His eyes are droopy, his mouth frozen in a tight scowl. He is hunched over the defense table listening to defense lawyer Margaret Sind Raben fight for a lesser sentence.

Kwame Kilpatrick entered a federal courtroom just after 10 a.m. wearing handcuffs and a tan prison uniform.

He appeared subdued and thin. Gone were the flashy suits and megawatt smiles he wore almost daily to court for the five-month trial.

He scanned the courtroom for relatives. None were in sight. Then, he greeted his taxpayer-funded defense team.

Kilpatrick will be sentenced shortly by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

Derrick Miller, left, and lawyer Byron Pitts

Derrick Miller, left, and lawyer Byron Pitts

Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentencing will loosen a backlog of former city officials and people convicted in the City Hall corruption scandal who are awaiting prison terms for their roles in the City Hall corruption scandal.

Sentencings for a handful of people, including former Kilpatrick aide and star government witness Derrick Miller and Detroit Water boss Victor Mercado, were put on hold until after the former mayor is sentenced today.

First up: Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson, who will be sentenced at 10 a.m. Friday. Then, Kilpatrick’s father Bernard on Oct. 17.

Sentencing dates for the others, including Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell, have not been set by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. Expect that to change, soon.

Federal court is filling up fast with less than an hour before Kwame Kilpatrick’s sentencing at 10 a.m.

There are numerous satellite TV trucks parked along Lafayette and a pack of photographers stationed directly across from the courthouse entrance. The photogs even have a visual cheat sheet taped to a tripod with head shots of Kilpatrick relatives, defense lawyers and members of the Kilpatrick defense team.

An alternate juror from the trial just showed up in court, as did Kilpatrick’s new lawyer, Harold Gurewitz, who was spotted walking into U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’s 8th floor chambers. A member of Kilpatrick’s trial team, Michael Naughton, just entered court along Fort Street, as did Bobby Ferguson’s defense lawyer, Gerald Evelyn.

Court officials have set up an overflow room to handle the expected crush of spectators. The first-floor room has a large projection screen and two giant flat screens that will show video of the defense table and the judge’s bench.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Since getting canned from her Texas gig and moving out of their 5,000-square-foot rental home, it appears that Carlita Kilpatrick and her three sons have stayed in the Lone Star State.

The oldest sons, twins Jalil and Jelani, are enrolled at retired NFL star Deion Sanders’ prep school, Prime Prep Academy in Dallas, according to an ESPN prep football guru.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Sanders were Twitter bros and parishioners at The Potter’s House, the megachurch of Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Beatty eye roll

In honor of Christine Beatty’s boffo first-person essay in Essence Magazine, here are some of the most dramatic moments of the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Over-the-shoulder kickback holders

From Oct. 4: Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell testified about delivering cash kickbacks to Kilpatrick hidden in her bra.

barber

Bell would deliver the kickbacks inside the mayor’s office or an adjoining room outfitted with a barber’s chair, she testified.

Each time, Bell would dip into her bra and hand him $8,000 or $10,000.

“He’d put it in his pocket,” Bell testified.

In all, prosecutors said she gave Kilpatrick more than $286,000 in kickbacks.

“I wonder if you had any uncomfortability in doing that?” Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas asked.

“Was I uncomfortable?” Bell asked. “No, sir.”

Last request denied

From March 11: Kwame Kilpatrick shouted “No fear” to his mother, former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, after being handcuffed and led away to prison this afternoon.

Kilpatrick was taken into custody after a judge ordered him and contractor pal Bobby Ferguson to prison while awaiting sentencing in the corruption case.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kilpatrick took off his wedding ring, tie and watch and handed it along with his driver’s license to his mother before being taken into custody.

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas removed the ex-mayor’s cufflinks.

Kilpatrick made one last request.

Don’t handcuff me in front of my mom, he asked.

The deputy U.S. Marshal cuffed him anyway.

Ferguson, meanwhile, had an emotional goodbye.

“I love you too, daddy!” one of his daughters said to the burly contractor.

Ferguson got handcuffed before he could remove his tie.

The deputy U.S. Marshal took it off for him.

Gone fishin’

From Oct. 10, 2012: The mayor’s charity paid for a luxury getaway between Kwame Kilpatrick and his mistress Christine Beatty in November 2002 in Vail, Colo.

The Kilpatrick Civic Fund wrote a $1,009 check for the getaway at the Sonnenalp Resort, according to an IRS agent. The expense violated IRS laws, Special Agent Ron Sauer testified

He subpoenaed the resort’s records for the weekend getaway on Nov. 7, 2002.

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

While there, the charity paid for manicures, pedicures and a “gentleman’s facial.”

Prosecutors showed text messages between Beatty and the mayor ahead of the trip. The lovers spent three nights in a $420-a-night room.

Kilpatrick: “Are you ready for the 7th?”

Beatty: “You can’t even understand how ready. When we go away, it’s like stealing a moment that is supposed to be a reality anyway.”

On Kilpatrick’s mayoral calendar, seized by investigators, Kilpatrick’s staff summed up how he spent Nov. 7.

“Gone fishing,” the calendar read.

Swiss cheese alibi

James C. Thomas

James C. Thomas

From Oct. 10, 2012: The national mayor’s group referenced by Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer as a possible explanation for a 2002 trip taken by the ex-mayor and his mistress doesn’t exist.

Attorney James C. Thomas suggested the real purpose of a resort stay in Vail, Colo., was for Kilpatrick to attend a meeting of the National Council of Mayors about 97 miles away in Denver.

There is no group.

There is, however, a U.S. Conference of Mayors based in Washington, D.C. The group lists its annual and winter meetings for each year going back to 1998.

The group held its annual meeting in Denver — in 2003.

High-rolling lifestyle

Jan. 8: Kwame Kilpatrick bragged about flying on Grosse Pointe Farms businessman Tony Soave’s private jet to the Bahamas during the nationwide blackout in 2003.

 Kwame and Carlita Kilpatrick check in  with their three sons at the American Airlines ticket counter at Detroit Metro on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008. (Velvet S. McNeil / The Detroit News)

Kwame and Carlita Kilpatrick check in with their three sons at the American Airlines ticket counter at Detroit Metro on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008. (Velvet S. McNeil / The Detroit News)

“This private plane is the s—,” Kilpatrick wrote in a text message sent to  trusted aide Derrick Miller.

The text emerged as prosecutors questioned Miller about the mayor’s use of private jet flights provided by city contractors. Soave testified earlier he was extorted by Kilpatrick and provided almost $400,000 worth of free flights.

The mayor’s family also traveled on Soave’s jets.

In April 2004, first lady Carlita Kilpatrick asked Miller to find out about the jet’s amenities ahead of a trip to Florida, where the Kilpatrick’s owned a vacation home.

“Does the plane we are on have a VCR or DVD player on it?” Carlita Kilpatrick wrote in an April 12, 2004, text message.

“Let me check,” Miller responded.

Zing! Pow!

December 2012: Grosse Pointe Farms contractor Tony Soave dropped one-liners and flashed a sharp wit throughout several days of testimony.

In early December, Soave faced questions about his April 2002 meeting with ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick allegedly told the multimillionaire businessman to dump his minority subcontractor and hire the mayor’s pal Bobby Ferguson on a $50 million sewer deal.

Soave

Soave

“It’s hard to remember details,” of the long-ago meeting, Kilpatrick lawyer Harold Gurewitz suggested to Soave.

“I don’t have dementia if that’s what you’re saying,” Soave said — an apparent reference to another key government witness, Karl Kado.

Kado, who allegedly was extorted by Kilpatrick and his father, told jurors days earlier that he might have dementia.

Soave also memorably tangled with Ferguson defense lawyer Michael Rataj during an entertaining cross-examination that featured a your mamma joke and extortion allegations.

At one point, Soave, who had former ties to known mob associates, said Rataj was a “funny guy.”

Rataj was touched by the (backhanded?) compliment, turned to his colleagues at the defense table and started mimicking the “You’re a Funny Guy” scene from the mobster classic “Goodfellas.”

The brick bungalow Kwame Kilpatrick owned when he embarked on a nearly decade-long spree of corruption is for sale, but you would never know it from the outside.

There is no “for sale” sign outside the 2,800-square-foot brick bungalow on Leslie Street in the Russell Woods neighborhood on the city’s west side. Realtor Garland Hardeman refuses to plant one in the overgrown yard. When he does, thieves steal the metal signs and sell them for $5 at the scrapyard.

Like Kilpatrick, the red brick bungalow is the biggest on the block, and like Kilpatrick, it needs repairs. Pipes burst and damaged the dining room floor, the stoop’s cracked and the home with a gated front door and crooked blinds has been broken into several times, Hardeman said.

“It definitely needs some TLC,” Hardeman said Tuesday after stopping by the home.

Garland Hardeman, of Keller Williams Realty, has the listing for the former Kwame Kilpatrick home on Leslie Street in Detroit. The 2,850 square-foot home is on the market for $30,000. (Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

Garland Hardeman, of Keller Williams Realty, has the listing for the former Kwame Kilpatrick home on Leslie Street in Detroit. The 2,850 square-foot home is on the market for $30,000.
(Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

The block is lined with mostly well-maintained brick bungalows. Three doors down there is a Mike Duggan for mayor sign in the yard, a few feet away from a mock graveyard — for Halloween.

Hardeman was unaware of the Kilpatrick connection until Tuesday, a link that failed to thrill the current owner.

She would not allow The News to tour the home, fearing publicity would scare off buyers.

“My client feels the notoriety might not be beneficial,” Hardeman said.

Hardeman joked about tweaking the listing to mention Kilpatrick once owned the home.

“He’s an infamous and famous guy so it’s a great possibility that some publicity might peak someone’s interest,” Hardeman said.

There have been about 30 showings since last fall.

Before one open house, Hardeman found kitchen cabinets and an appliance lined up near the door by a crook.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor's sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor’s sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner.

Kwame and wife Carlita bought the home in the Russell Woods in 1997, the year after he was elected to the state House of Representatives for $65,000.

Starting in 2000, Kilpatrick used his power as a leader in the state Legislature to secure $800,000 in state grants for two Detroit nonprofits, both of which hired his wife with the money, according to trial testimony. Carlita Kilpatrick got $137,500 in state money from the grants, though she did little work and failed to complete a program for youths, according to testimony that sketched out the earliest days of public corruption headed by Kwame Kilpatrick.

In 2001, Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit. The couple did not move right away into the Manoogian Mansion.

Mayoral bodyguards parked at the curb were a common site in the neighborhood.

Interior of Kilpatrick’s former home on Leslie Street. (Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

Interior of Kilpatrick’s former home on Leslie Street. (Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

Inside, there were early signs of Kilpatrick hoarding unexplained cash.

During trial testimony Sept. 24, 2012, a member of Kilpatrick’s security detail, Chad Smith, said he once was asked to fetch money from Kilpatrick’s house.

Smith said Kilpatrick told him to go into a closet in the house and pull $1,500 from a shoe. He did, leaving $300 behind. The money was used to pay the mayor’s credit card bill.

Earlier in that day’s testimony, defense lawyer James C. Thomas asked IRS agent Ron Sauer if it was possible for someone to accumulate money over time and store it in a shoe box.

“Depends on how big the shoe is,” Sauer said.

“This guy’s got big feet,” Thomas said.

The Kilpatricks sold the Leslie Street home for $160,000 in 2003.

The bathroom of Kilpatrick’s former home on Leslie Street. (Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

The bathroom of Kilpatrick’s former home on Leslie Street. (Max Ortiz/The Detroit News)

It went into foreclosure a few years later, Hardeman said, before the current owner snagged it for $35,000 in 2008.

She listed it for $15,000 in April but bumped the price-tag three months later, figuring property values were on the rise.

The current asking price: $30,000. That’s about as much money as Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell could stuff in three bras.

Though Kilpatrick’s future involves prison bars, the Russell Woods neighborhood is on the upswing, Hardeman said.

Home sales averaged about $10,000 a few years ago. Now, prices are in the high 20s or low 30s, he said while standing outside the home.

At visiting the home Tuesday, Hardeman climbed into his car and started to leave before hitting the brakes.

He forgot to take the “for sale” sign.

Kwame Kilpatrick will get a new address after being sentenced at 10 a.m. today by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. In the meantime, let’s take a stroll through hizzoner’s homes.

1. 4343 Leslie Detroit, MI

leslie cropped

In 2001, the then-state Rep. Kilpatrick and his wife Carlita lived in this 1926 bungalow in Russell Woods before he was elected mayor. Plenty of room (and space for shoes stuffed with cash) in the 2,800-square-foot bungalow.

2. 9240 Dwight St. Detroit, MI

manogianmansion

After taking office in 2002, Kilpatrick upgraded to the 4,000-square-foot, city-owned Manoogian Mansion.

3.1144 Greensward Dr. Tallahassee, FL

Kilpatrick House 01 mw 012408

In June 2007, the couple paid $430,000 for this 2,808-square-foot home in a golf course community in Tallahassee, Fla., near their alma mater Florida A&M.

4. 15 E. Kirby St., Apt. 1018 Detroit, MI

The Park Shelton

In September 2008, after resigning amid the text-message scandal, the couple and their three sons moved into a luxury condominium in The Park Shelton in Midtown.

A realtor testified during the trial that Kwame Kilpatrick’s slush fund nonprofit group spent $12,800 leasing the condo. The rental deal was signed before Kilpatrick was sentenced to four months in the Wayne County Jail on obstruction of justice charges.

“He wanted interim housing because he was going away, and he wanted his family close,” realtor Aaliyah Salaam testified last year.

“Going away: that’s a euphemism,” Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas said. “He was going to jail.”

5. Wayne County Jail 525 Clinton St. Detroit, MI

jail

Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 120 days in the Wayne County Jail in October 2008.

6. 306 Chestnut Cove Circle Southlake, TX

Chestnut

In early 2009, Kilpatrick flew to Dallas aboard a plane chartered at a cost of $13,500 and paid by his mother, then-U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. He joined his family in a rented 2,800-squre-foot home in Southlake, Texas, one of the nation’s richest suburbs. The home on a heavily wooded half-acre lot has a swimming pool and rented for $2,950 a month.

7. 1106 La Paloma Court Southlake, TX

La Paloma

In June 2009, the family rented a $1 million mansion in Southlake even though Kilpatrick claimed he only had $6 left each month to pay restitution to the city of Detroit. The 13-month lease cost $74,000. The five-bedroom, 5 1/2 -bathroom, 5,886-square-foot custom-built home has a kidney-shaped pool and game room.

The mansion is for sale for $1.1 million.

8. Oaks Correctional Facility 1500 Caberfae Highway Manistee, MI

oaks

In May 2010, a Michigan judge sent Kilpatrick to state prison after determining the former mayor deliberately hid assets that could have been used to pay $1 million in restitution to the city stemming from the text-message scandal. Kilpatrick checked into the Oaks Correctional Facility in Manistee, about 250 miles northwest of Detroit.

9. Milan federal prison 4004 Arkona Rd. Milan, MI

milan

He was indicted on 19 felony fraud and income tax counts in federal court in June 2010 and transferred to the federal prison in Milan to finish serving his state court sentence while preparing for what would evolve into the City Hall corruption trial. The prison has had several celebrity inmates over the years, including underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, longtime Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and the former girlfriend of John Dillinger.

10. 2920 N. Camino Lagos Grand Prairie, TX

camino

In 2010, his family down-shifted into a 3,500-square-foot rental in Grand Prairie, Texas. The $235,000 home rented for about $2,100 a month.

11. 3012 Pamplona Grand Prairie, TX

Pamplona

Kilpatrick’s state prison sentence ended in August 2011 and he moved along with his family into a larger, $372,000 home in Grand Prairie. The 5,000-square-foot home features a “huge” kitchen with granite countertops, vaulted ceilings in the hall and family room, French doors leading to a landscaped yard, a large master suite and study. It also features a game room and media room. Carlita and the kids moved out this summer and headed to parts unknown.

12. Milan federal prison 4004 Arkona Rd. Milan, MI

Kilpatrick returned to the Milan federal prison in March after being found guilty of 24 corruption-related crimes. His next destination: up to the Bureau of Prisons. There are a dozen federal prisons in his adopted state of Texas.

If Kwame Kilpatrick is searching for a silver lining ahead of his sentencing today, he can thank the Detroit Tigers.

At least he’s not facing U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, a huge Tigers fan, the day after a playoff loss. She will sentence Kilpatrick hours before her beloved team plays in Game 5 against the Oakland A’s.

Here’s our story about Edmunds and her baseball love affair from a year ago:

Kilpatrick judge uses Detroit Tigers to ease courtroom tension

By Robert Snell / The Detroit News

Detroit — The blow didn’t amount to a federal crime, but U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds keeps the evidence on her desk.

She takes a look and reflects.

The signed baseball from former Detroit Tigers outfielder Marcus Thames.

The signed baseball from former Detroit Tigers outfielder Marcus Thames.

It was 2009. Summertime. Edmunds is inside Comerica Park along the first-base line, 12 rows back, maybe 15.

She didn’t hear the crack, but got clocked by a foul ball off the bat of Tigers outfielder Marcus Thames.

“It fell right in my lap,” said Edmunds, 65, admiring the ball mounted on her desk during a rare interview last week after presiding over the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

The Tigers’ trip to the World Series has enthralled the lifelong fan and provided an escape for a judge who has juggled some of the highest-profile and most complex cases in federal court in recent years, including the terror trial of underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

During the Kilpatrick case, Edmunds has chatted almost daily with jurors and lawyers about the Tigers’ wins and woes, using the team’s travails to break tension in the high-stakes corruption case.

“It’s a pleasant escape,” Edmunds said during a chat in her eighth-floor chambers, a few blocks from Comerica Park. “Though I get stressed about the Tigers, too. It’s fun. I cheer. I scream. I get excited, I get disappointed. It’s a total escape and I don’t have to go very far to do it.”

Michael Rataj

Michael Rataj

Most mornings, the Kilpatrick trial starts with talk about the Tigers’ play the night before.

“I figure you went to bed pretty early,” co-defendant Bobby Ferguson’s defense attorney Michael Rataj said Thursday following a Game 1 loss.

“That was the only saving grace,” Edmunds said.

She also talks a little trash.

Earlier this month, a witness from New York City testified in the Kilpatrick case.

Witness Max Berger said he was a fan of the Yankees who at the time were locked in a playoff series with the Tigers. After he testified, Edmunds said he was free to go home and “weep about the Yankees.”

Rataj said he welcomes the judge’s break from the trial routines.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “It’s a way for the judge to connect with the jury. We’re all Tigers fans and obviously Judge Edmunds is a big Tigers fan.”

She’s read “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” understands sabermetrics, met former Tiger Mickey Lolich and shared an elevator with Al Kaline.

“It was like being with George Clooney,” she said.

She’s a baseball almanac in a black robe, which is decorated with an Old English D pinned over her heart.

Edmunds rattles off historic Tigers moments, like the year Kaline won the batting title (1955), with the certainty of her boys’ birthdays.

She has a black radio resting on the radiator in her chambers tuned to the Tigers broadcast.

Edmunds listens to sports talk on 97.1 The Ticket, though she has never called in. She has the Tigers app on her iPad and another on her phone.

Tiger Stadium

In her free time, she scouts San Francisco Giants pitchers on Major League Baseball’s website.

The judge’s Tigers love is a thread running through her life.

Born two years after the Tigers won the 1945 World Series, Edmunds was smitten early.

Uncle Al Sandelman took her to games as a child. In the 1950s, she’d sit on the back porch of her family’s Detroit home and listen to her heroes on the radio.

“Frank Lary, Billy Hoeft, Kaline, Harvey Kuenn and that crew,” she said.

As a kid, she played pickup baseball games on a field at Vandenberg Elementary on the city’s northwest side.

How was her arm?

“It was all right,” she said.

Fall 1968 remains a vivid memory. The Tigers were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Then a Cornell University student, she planned on watching the series-clinching win in a dormitory lounge at Anna Comstock Hall.

“The guy I was dating came over and was bugging me to get out of there,” she said. “I told him to go away.”

She watched the win, and celebrated, all by herself.

The Wayne State University Law School grad’s brush with a member of the 1984 World Series-winning team is equally vivid.

It was 1995 or 1996.

She was relatively new to the federal bench, having been nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991.

One day, a herd of potential jurors filled her courtroom.

Trammell

“I wasn’t paying attention and I asked if anyone had a work-related or health issue that would prevent them from serving,” Edmunds said.

A Gold Glove-winning shortstop stood up.

Alan Trammell.

“It was right around spring training,” Edmunds said. “I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll let you off.'”

Edmunds attends 15-20 games each year. She had tickets to Saturday’s game.

When she can’t attend or watch from home, she still tracks the Tigers. Earlier this month, she tuned out of a wedding in California to see Tigers closer Jose Valverde blow a four-run lead against the Yankees.

“It wasn’t the ceremony,” she said, mock defensively. “It was the reception.”

Kwame Kilpatrick fought — at taxpayer expense — to avoid this day.

He tried The Shawshank Redemption, and blamed the lawyer.

He complained about race, his knee and the jury-selection process. He asked for a new trial and an acquittal.

About the only thing he didn’t ask for was a bad court thingy.

Every request failed, so here it is: sentencing day. Federal prosecutors want him to go away for at least 28 years. His lawyers are asking for no more than 15 years.

Kilpatrick is a veteran of sentencings, though the stakes were much lower.

Here he is shaking his head and scoffing in 2008 before getting 120 days in the slammer for charges related to the text-message scandal:

Here he is in 2010 getting sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison by Wayne Circuit Judge David Groner, who said the former mayor engaged in “contemptible behavior” by hiding assets from the court in violation of his probation.

The U.S. Marshals Service refused to disclose the location of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson, who were handcuffed and sent to prison today after being convicted in the City Hall corruption trial.

“Due to security concerns we are not releasing the whereabouts of where they will be incarcerated tonight,” a Marshals Service spokesman told The News.

One possibility: The federal prison in Milan, 49 minutes southwest of Detroit. Kilpatrick spent time there while serving a state prison sentence a few years ago.

The Marshals Service also has contracts to house federal inmates at jails in Detroit and several counties, including Wayne, St. Clair and Sanilac.

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer vowed to appeal today’s racketeering conviction and ask for a new trial.

Defense attorney James C. Thomas also said he will start trying to mitigate the amount of time Kilpatrick will spend in federal prison after being convicted of 24 charges.

He has other short-term plans following the six-month trial and representing Kilpatrick for almost three years in the corruption case.

“One might think you go out and get loaded,” Thomas told reporters outside federal court. “I am going to take solace in having a good dinner.”

Thomas did not know where Kilpatrick will be imprisoned immediately. He hopes the former Detroit mayor will be housed at the federal prison in nearby Milan.

“It’s obviously one of the more comfortable places, though it’s not a country club,” Thomas said.

His initial reaction to the conviction?

“Numbing may be a good word,” he said. “We are pensive.”

He shed light on Kilpatrick’s private moments after being convicted of 24 counts this morning.

“He talked with his wife and kids” via telephone, Thomas said. “He’s pretty strong and doesn’t show his emotions but it obviously is affecting him.”

Kwame Kilpatrick shouted “No fear” to his mother, former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, after being handcuffed and led away to prison this afternoon.

Kilpatrick was taken into custody after a judge ordered him and contractor pal Bobby Ferguson to prison while awaiting sentencing in the corruption case.

Kilpatrick took off his wedding ring, tie and watch and handed it along with his driver’s license to his mother before being taken into custody.

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas removed the ex-mayor’s cufflinks.

Kilpatrick made one last request.

Don’t handcuff me in front of my mom, he asked.

The deputy U.S. Marshal cuffed him anyway.

Ferguson, meanwhile, had an emotional goodbye.

“I love you too, daddy!” one of his daughters said to the burly contractor.

Ferguson got handcuffed before he could remove his tie.

The deputy U.S. Marshal took it off for him.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Saying it was a close call, a federal judge ordered Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson to prison immediately, capping a historic day in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said Kilpatrick and Ferguson, both convicted felons, failed to convince her they won’t flee. They also failed to convince her they aren’t dangers to the community.

“I think this is a close call,” Edmunds said following a brief hearing.

Under the law, the presumption was for both men to be imprisoned immediately. Lawyers for both men failed to overcome that presumption, the judge said.

“It’s possible they would appear,” she added. “It’s possible they may not be dangers to the safety of any other persons. But they have not offered evidence or any argument to overcome that presumption.”

Following the judge’s order, four deputy U.S. Marshals surrounded Kilpatrick and Ferguson. Kilpatrick calmly removed his black sport coat while Ferguson handed what looked like a check book to his lawyer.

It was not immediately clear where Kilpatrick and Ferguson will be imprisoned while awaiting sentencing in the corruption trial.

There is a federal prison in Milan.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the federal courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the federal courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson is a violent felon and international traveler with access to large amounts of cash and should be locked up while awaiting sentencing in the corruption case, a prosecutor said today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Doeh wants Ferguson imprisoned and reminded U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds that the contractor was previously committed of pistol-whipping an employee and earned more than $80 million in revenue from tainted city contracts.

Defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn, meanwhile, said Ferguson has deep roots in Detroit.

Ferguson has surrendered his passport and the government effectively shut down his construction company by seizing equipment and millions in cash.

Ferguson is awaiting trial in April on federal bid-rigging charges and has financial concerns, his lawyer said.

“There are significant court expenses outstanding that might not be paid,” Evelyn told the judge.

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas.

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick doesn’t have a large stash of cash and can’t afford to flee before being sentenced in the City Hall corruption case, his lawyer said.

Kilpatrick’s lawyer is fighting a prosecution request to have Kilpatrick locked up immediately.

“His risk of flight is, I think, illusory,” defense lawyer James C. Thomas said during a detention hearing today. “He doesn’t have cash reserves with which to flee. Being convicted doesn’t make it more or less of a reason to flee. He was facing those charges from the very beginning.”

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should be imprisoned immediately because he has a history of lying to court officials, disobeying court orders and because he has access to cash, a prosecutor said today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta wants Kilpatrick and pal Bobby Ferguson imprisoned while awaiting sentencing in the City Hall corruption trial.

Both men are convicted felons and face up to 20 years in prison after being convicted of racketeering conspiracy.

“Based on the character of this defendant, the court should detain him and based on his history of disobeying court orders, disobeying probation officers, disobeying parole officers’ orders,” Bullotta told U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.

Lawyers James C. Thomas, left, attorney Michael Naughton, middle, and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court (David Coates)

Lawyers James C. Thomas, left, attorney Michael Naughton, middle, and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court (David Coates)

Kwame Kilpatrick was spotted leaving a closed-door meeting with his taxpayer-funded defense team minutes ahead of his 2 p.m. bond hearing.

Kilpatrick embraced defense lawyer Michael Naughton, giving him a hearty back slap outside a first-floor conference room inside federal court.

Kilpatrick will find out this afternoon whether he will be locked up immediately or be allowed to remain free until sentencing in the City Hall corruption case.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s mother just arrived at federal court in Detroit to see her son, perhaps for the last time as a free man.

Former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick was spotted entering court at 1:20 p.m.

There is a bond hearing at 2 p.m. during which U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds will consider a prosecution request to send Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson to prison immediately.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who led the state prosecution of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick during the text-message scandal, issued the following statement about the City Hall corruption verdict:

“I would like to congratulate the U.S. Attorneys Office on their successful prosecution of this complex corruption case,” Worthy said in a prepared statement. “I will reserve any further comment until defendant Kwame Kilpatrick is sentenced.”

Kilpatrick was due in Wayne County Circuit Court tomorrow for a hearing into the former mayor’s finances and missing proceeds of his autobiography. The hearing has been postponed in light of the verdict.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Kwame Kilpatrick and contractor pal Bobby Ferguson will find out at 2 p.m. whether they will be imprisoned today or remain free until sentencing following convictions in the City Hall corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds has scheduled a 1:30 p.m. hearing. Federal prosecutors want the former mayor and Ferguson locked up after jurors convicted them of racketeering conspiracy and other charges.

Ferguson lawyer Mike Rataj said prosecutors are piling on by asking to send the men to prison immediately.

Both men face up to 20 years in prison on the racketeering charge. In all, jurors convicted Kilpatrick of 24 charges; Ferguson nine.

The duo, dubbed by the feds as crooked princes of the city, are free on $10,000 bond pending the outcome of today’s bond hearing.

Kilpatrick’s movements have been restricted since January, when he violated conditions of his parole. He was placed on house arrest and ordered to wear a GPS ankle tether.

His parole agent has repeatedly denied requests to let Kilpatrick visit his wife and three sons in Texas.

Lawyer Mike Rataj, far right, outside federal court with Bobby Ferguson and Gerald Evelyn, left.

Lawyer Mike Rataj, far right, outside federal court with Bobby Ferguson and Gerald Evelyn, left.

Contractor Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer was shocked his client was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, a charge that could send the once-powerful Detroit contractor to prison for 20 years.

“I’m surprised that they would find racketeering in relation to these contracts,” attorney Mike Rataj told reporters outside federal court. “I’m shocked by it.”

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

The feds won a measure of revenge today after jurors convicted Kwame Kilpatrick’s pal Bobby Ferguson of nine counts, including racketeering conspiracy, a 20-year felony.

The verdict comes nine months after Ferguson’s $12 million big-rigging trial in federal court ended in a mistrial.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said her office will continue preparing to retry Ferguson later this year but it is unclear whether plea talks will intensify in light of today’s verdict.

In the bid-rigging case, jurors agreed to convict Ferguson on four charges before leaving court for the weekend June 22.

Ferguson juror Leon Richey

Ferguson juror Leon Richey

When they returned four days later, the jury was deadlocked 10-1 to convict, according to two jurors who spoke publicly about deliberations.

One juror identified the holdout as the lone female black juror.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson interviewed jurors following the mistrial and they described a swirl of votes inside the jury room.

“The court learned that the votes on some counts as to some defendants favored conviction, the votes on other counts as to other defendants favored acquittal, and still other counts and defendants divided the jury nearly evenly,” the judge wrote.

In the bid-rigging case, Ferguson and two co-defendants face up to 20 years in prison, if convicted, of charges that included conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Ferguson, a convicted felon, also faces two gun charges.

Ferguson was accused of falsifying bids, laundering money and dumping debris on the grounds of the old Herman Gardens public housing site on the west side.

Prosecutors portrayed Ferguson as a crooked contractor who used his connections and longtime friendship with Kilpatrick to win millions in city contracts.

Defense lawyers said the case was riddled with racism and featured twisted evidence and misleading testimony.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Jurors said they wanted to speak for the community in convicting Kwame Kilpatrick of crimes that could send him to prison for 20 years, or more.

“We certainly talked about our job of being the voice of the community and we took that very seriously and understood these charges were not victim-less crimes,” a male juror told reporters today.

Other jurors said they were not angry at Kilpatrick.

“I wouldn’t call it anger,” a female juror said. “More disappointment with me voting for the mayor twice. I thought that he could be a good leader and sitting here on trial for the past six months I saw a lot that really, really turned my stomach and I couldn’t believe these things were going on.”

Another female juror said she felt sorry for Kilpatrick’s wife and three sons.

A handful of anonymous jurors from the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial described a calm, mostly civil deliberation process during the 14 days they spent in the jury room.

No juror was “set in stone” at the outset of deliberations last month, one male panelist told reporters today during a news conference.

“We are a nice group of people,” a female juror added. “We respect each other at the utmost. There was always respect. Sometimes, arguments got a little bit heated.”

One female juror said she didn’t hold the decision not to testify against Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard or contractor Bobby Ferguson.

“It didn’t really matter to me,” the female juror said.

She also didn’t give any weight to the fact Kwame Kilpatrick’s family skipped the trial, except for closing arguments.

Another juror said the case wasn’t decided on any particular witness or piece of evidence.

“There was not one piece of evidence that sealed the deal,” a male juror said told reporters after convicting the former Detroit mayor of racketeering conspiracy. “We looked at everything.”

Jurors said they weighed the backgrounds of prosecution witnesses, many of whom were convicted during the City Hall corruption probe.

“We looked at their testimony extra carefully,” one male juror said.

Several jurors talked about living in a news vacuum during the six-month trial and described varying degrees of temptation to read media reports or social media.

“Personally, it wasn’t a big temptation for the simple fact that we had been in this room for a very long time,” a female juror said. “Everyone has sacrificed personally, professionally and we dedicated ourselves to the task and no one was going to risk the time spent performing our duties to read a headline.”

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds explained why she let jurors leave Friday after telling her they had reached a verdict but wanted to sleep on it over the weekend.

“They seemed comfortable with it and said they wanted to sleep on it,” Edmunds told reporters during an impromptu news conference inside her courtroom. “I’ve had that happen before. I have a lot of respect for the integrity of the jury.

“I had a sense of what their verdict was but did not review it until this morning.”

The move could have been controversial.

During contractor Bobby Ferguson’s bid-rigging trial last summer, the jury said it had reached a partial verdict, but U.S. District Judge David Lawson sent them home for the weekend. When they returned, they were deadlocked.

Federal prosecutors and a few defense attorneys are waiting to watch jurors speak to the media shortly, hoping to glean insight into City Hall corruption case deliberations.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and her team of lawyers, Mark Chutkow, Michael Bullotta, Jennifer Blackwell and Eric Doeh are sitting in the front row of a first-floor courtroom.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea is standing several feet away as is Kwame Kilpatrick’s attorney James C. Thomas.

Several jurors are expected to talk soon and have said they will not give interviews to reporters outside court.

McQuade also will hold a 3 p.m. news conference in downtown Detroit.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

There was no immediate word whether the feds will retry Bernard Kilpatrick on racketeering conspiracy after jurors were hung on the most devastating count in the corruption case.

Prosecutors will hold a news conference this afternoon and are expected to address that possibility.

Jurors convicted the political maestro of only one tax charge, a three-year felony. The FBI probe of City Hall corruption lasted at least twice as long.

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

Interesting footnote to the jury’s verdict:

The jury hung on Count 16, a bribery charge against Kwame Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson involving one of the most memorable allegations that emerged during the trial.

The feds alleged long-time Kilpatrick pal Mahlon Clift picked up $90,000 cash from contractor  Bobby Ferguson and delivered it to the former mayor in Detroit and Texas.

Clift testified he stashed the cash in a vacuum cleaner bag and hid stacks of bills in his pockets while traveling through airport security.

Defense lawyers called Clift the “Michelin Man,” arguing airport security guards would have spotted the cash bulging from his pockets.

The feds staged a re-enactment during the trial, videotaping an FBI agent going through airport security with $90,000 strapped to his waist.

The cash was not visible, the feds argued, though defense lawyers disagreed.

Count 1 Racketeering (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick:  Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty
Bernard Kilpatrick: No verdict

Count 2 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 3 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 4 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 5 Attempt. Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 7 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: No verdict
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 8 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: No verdict
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 9 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 10 Extortion (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick:  Not guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Not guilty

Count 15 Attempt. Extortion (20-yr felony):
Bernard Kilpatrick: Not guilty

Count 16 Bribery (10-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: No verdict
Bobby Ferguson: No verdict

Count 17 Bribery (10-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty
Bobby Ferguson: Guilty

Count 18 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 19 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 20 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 21 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 22 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 23 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 24 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 25 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 26 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 27 Mail fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Not guilty

Count 28 Wire fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 29 Wire fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Not guilty

Count 30 Wire fraud (20-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 31 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 32 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 33 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 34 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 35 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 36 Tax evasion (5-yr felony):
Kwame Kilpatrick: Guilty

Count 37 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Bernard Kilpatrick: Not guilty

Count 38 False tax return (3-yr felony):
Bernard Kilpatrick: Guilty

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, and son Kwame Kilpatrick.

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, and son Kwame Kilpatrick.

There was an emotional moment between Kwame Kilpatrick and his father after jurors convicted the former Detroit mayor of 24 counts today.

Bernard Kilpatrick, who escaped convictions on racketeering, extortion and one tax charge, broke down in tears while embracing his son, who faces decades in federal prison.

“It’s OK,” Kwame Kilpatrick told his dad, who faces up to three years in prison.

Moments earlier, Kwame Kilpatrick mouthed “I love you” to his father across the defense table inside federal court.

Kilpatrick’s body language offered a sharp contrast to the confident grin he wore outside court almost daily during the six-month trial.

Kilpatrick slumped his shoulders and dropped his head after U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds read the guilty verdict on the first, and most devastating charge: racketeering.

Things only got worse for the former Detroit mayor. He appeared to pray at one point and stared blankly at the defense table before jurors filed out of the courtroom.

Kwame Kilpatrick arrived at the courthouse at 10:09 a.m., exiting a white Buick LaCross with a vanity plate that read “RUB.”
Dressed in a black blazer and gray trousers, the former mayor of Detroit ignored questions from reporters as he helped an older man with a walker up the stairs and into the federal building.
A short time later Bernard Kilpatrick, Kwame’s father, arrived at the courthouse.
Asked how he felt Bernard Kilpatrick said “the same as everyone else: apprehensive.”
Asked how his family was holding up, Bernard Kilpatrick answered “better than expected.”
“God is good,” said Bobby Ferguson as he walked across the street at Fort and Shelby toward the federal court house.

Jurors in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial sent word that they won’t talk to defense lawyers or prosecutors after announcing their verdict at 10:30 a.m.

Jurors, however, will talk to reporters afterward in a controlled setting inside U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’s 8th floor courtroom.

The jury is unusually diverse as far as federal courts go. There are eight women, four men, five blacks and a Hispanic.

Federal court in downtown Detroit.

Federal court in downtown Detroit.

There is a palpable buzz throughout federal court ahead of the 10:30 a.m. verdict in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case.

There were five TV satellite trucks parked along Lafayette and packs of reporters awaiting the arrival of the former Detroit mayor, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson.

Inside, a 1st floor courtroom set up so crowds can watch a closed-circuit TV feed of the verdict is filling up fast with court staff, assistant U.S. attorneys and others.

WXYZ just spotted Kwame Kilpatrick leaving his mom’s house northwest of the courthouse in a white Buick.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Several anonymous members of the Kilpatrick jury want to speak to reporters after announcing their verdict.

The jurors will speak to reporters 15 minutes after the 10:30 a.m. verdict, according to a federal court spokesman.

The tentative plan is to let jurors sit in the jury box and answer questions from reporters gathered in U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’s 8th floor courtroom.

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, and Kwame Kilpatrick.

Bernard Kilpatrick, left, and Kwame Kilpatrick.

There are 33 counts against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson, but only three biggies.

With jurors set to render their verdict momentarily, keep your eye on Count 1, racketeering conspiracy. That’s the nuclear bomb of the case, a 20-year felony, and all three are charged with the crime.

The trio also is facing extortion, another 20-year felony. Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson are charged with eight counts; Bernard Kilpatrick, one count.

There’s one more 20-year felony facing Kwame Kilpatrick. He is charged with 13 counts of mail and wire fraud related to his nonprofit group, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

The feds say the former mayor treated the Civic Fund like his personal piggy bank, blowing cash on expensive vacations, golf clubs, yoga classes and more.

Christine Beatty

Christine Beatty

Kilpatrick shifted the blame, saying others who served on the Civic Fund’s board approved the expenses.

Former aide April Edgar, whose sister is ex-Kilpatrick mistress and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty, put the blame on the former mayor.

Edgar repeated a mantra during her testimony in October when asked why she wrote Civic Fund checks for Kilpatrick’s personal expenses.

“The mayor told me to,” Edgar repeatedly said.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick is confident and calm on Facebook and Twitter while awaiting a verdict in the City Hall corruption trial.

Behind the scenes, not so much, according to emails obtained by The News through the Freedom of Information Act.

Kilpatrick wrote an emotional email Thursday to his parole agent Charles Wright — or as Kilpatrick calls him, “C-Wright.”

He sent the email while trying, again, to fly home to Texas this weekend.

Parole officials have repeatedly denied such requests after Kilpatrick violated parole conditions by hiding cash that could have been used toward the $854,063 restitution he owes the city from the text-message scandal.

In January, parole officials put him under house arrest, made him wear a tether and spend a weekend in jail as punishment for violating parole.

Kilpatrick sent this email to his parole agent Thursday:

“I have not been home since January 2, 2013. As you know as we have discussed on numerous occasions, I have a family. I am married, and have been blessed with 3 wonderful sons. As you know, there are many pressures on families in our society today, i.e., Financial, Emotional, Environmental, etc. My family has not been immune from these normal pressures that must be endured for successful families to prosper. And now added to these well established challenges there are many more my family has to endure at this time, as you may well know. We have always been able to make it through these things together.

I have been prevented from traveling home since January 9, 2013. It has been said that this sanction was given as to thoroughly investigate my finances and financial transactions. During this time of “investigation” I have been placed on house arrest, and my movement has been all but halted. Meanwhile, the “investigation” sprouts new tentacles that move in different directions, more divergent inquiries, and an increased scope of time for investigation subjects, which of course has caused the “investigation” to be extended on numerous occasions.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

C-Wright, you have a habit of saying that you are “dotting your i’s” and “crossing your t’s”. You have told me that you accept full responsibility for all of the decisions that are being made in this “investigation.” So I humbly ask, have your requests for exact dates of financial transactions, flight buddy passes, a stop at a restaurant on the way to home base, etc, outweighed your community supervision and parole agent mission of helping the parolee to reconnect to family and community? Has it outweighed your mission to support the parolee in making the successful adjustment to parole? Has your willingness to “dot and cross” blurred your focus on the fact that you are responsible for making decisions that substantially affect real human beings (wife, children, family, community), whom are not on parole? Has your fear of public and media scrutiny moved you to make decisions that are within a vacuum of self-preservation? I pray that without pretense, pride, ego and a strong sense of real honest thought, you answer these questions.

After speaking with you on yesterday, it seems that you have formed in your own mind, that much of this action is justified by the “Special Conditions” that I have of my parole. YOU and your colleagues at the MDOC are the totalitarians of my parole, and authors of my written instructions. If you want certain information from me, without any confusion, write those instructions into the special conditions. You have not done that! You have instead conformed and deformed words to mean what you want them to mean. That is not only inappropriate, its wrong. And yes, C-Wright, the continuation of an “investigation” with a blurred focus of what it is attempting to discover, no understanding of the timeliness of its conclusion, a clear understanding that it has no focus on a new crime, gun, assault or any other action that would give rise to incarceration, and a continuing strategy of keeping me on house arrest as well as preventing me from seeing my family, is WRONG.

Kilpatrick's family is living in this 5,000-square-foot home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Kilpatrick’s family is living in this 5,000-square-foot home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Even after the media shared your emails, and stories ran last week on all three local TV news channels, several Michigan Newspapers, a plethora of radio stations and many blogs reported stories of “Kwame Kilpatrick begging to go home,” I am renewing my request to do so. As I have previously stated, I am a human being. I am spiritually, emotionally and have familial attachment to 4 people that love me very much. My home is in Texas. I am not requesting to travel anywhere else. I want to go home. Again, I am not a flight risk, I pose no threat to the public, and I must return for federal court jurisdiction by Monday morning. Your “investigation” will not be halted, or hindered by my going home. I humbly request that the larger issues of parole, i.e., safety of the public, rehabilitation, reconnection, successful adjustment, and yes, even understanding that parolees are human beings, outweigh any notion of personal scrutiny, fear, and self-preservation.”

Kilpatrick’s parole agent refused to lift the travel ban. Kilpatrick stays in Detroit this weekend — verdict or no verdict, according to the emails.

Kwame Kilpatrick, using Prince-inspired punctuation, posted comments on Twitter minutes ago thanking supporters who have stuck by him throughout the trial and 13 days of jury deliberations.

 

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was spotted at federal court this afternoon, raising speculation that jurors had reached a verdict on the 12th day of deliberations.

False alarm.

Jurors left court around 3 p.m. today without reaching a verdict.

A juror had a personal issue that prompted the early recess, according to a court spokesman.

The jury will return at 9 a.m. Thursday.

It is unclear why Kilpatrick was at court in downtown Detroit today, but a spokesman said it is possible the former mayor was checking in with pretrial services — a routine requirement.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is awaiting a verdict in the City Hall corruption trial, faces grim odds of an acquittal, according to local court statistics.

The feds posted a 98.3 percent conviction rate in criminal cases last year, though the overwhelming majority of cases end in plea deals, according to a breakdown of all cases in the Eastern District of Michigan.

The U.S Attorney’s Office prosecuted 892 people last year in the Eastern District of Michigan. Fifteen people were acquitted.

Seven of those acquittals came in one trial: the sedition case against the Hutaree militia. Two militia members were defended by Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer, James C. Thomas, and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer, Michael Rataj.

Former Chief Justice Conrad Mallett, Jr. tells friends where he wants them to stand around his official portrait after it was presented to the Michigan Supreme Court last May in the court's chambers in Lansing. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Former Chief Justice Conrad Mallett, Jr. tells friends where he wants them to stand around his official portrait after it was presented to the Michigan Supreme Court last May in the court’s chambers in Lansing. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett Jr. does not regret giving $1,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick, one of several undisclosed gifts from people that could send the former Detroit mayor back to prison.

Mallett, who is running Mike Duggan’s mayoral campaign, spoke this afternoon in the wake of news that Kilpatrick received $10,750 in cash gifts that were hidden from state parole officials.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kilpatrick revealed the gifts in emails to his parole agent. Mallett’s gift allegedly was for Kilpatrick’s three sons, according to emails obtained by The News.

“No man, I don’t regret it,” Mallett told The News. “Those kids, man, are really great kids and (Kilpatrick’s wife) Carlita is obviously a strong and wonderful person, man.”

Mallett does not remember when he gave the gift.

“He reached out to me and indicated he needed help to provide for his family and I responded,” Mallett said. “I was raised to help a person in need.”

Mallett said he wired the $1,000 via Western Union.

“That’s how he asked me to do it,” Mallett said.

The wire payment was not an attempt to hide the money from parole officials, Mallett said.

“Not at all,” Mallett said.

Kilpatrick is required to disclose gifts and income as a condition of his parole.

“I didn’t have any idea at the time that there was a requirement that these kinds of items be reported,” Mallett said. “All I got from Mr. Kilpatrick was, and I believe him, that there was some immediacy to the request he was making.

“All I can say, man, is were I aware that there was a requirement to report, I would have encouraged Mr. Kilpatrick to do that,” he added. “I mean, those of us who provided him that support were not trying to hide it. It is what it was, man.”

Mallett, a longtime friend of Kilpatrick’s, was asked about whether he hopes the City Hall corruption jury acquits the former Detroit mayor.

“No, man, I don’t have any comment on that at all,” he said.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick has identified more secret donors who gave him $6,700 in cash gifts, money that was hidden from parole officials and not applied toward the $854,000 in restitution owed to Detroit.

Conrad Mallett Jr.

Conrad Mallett Jr.

Former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett Jr. gave $1,000 and Kilpatrick’s mother, ex-Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, gave $5,000, according to emails obtained by The News through the Freedom of Information Act.

Mallett is a long-time Kilpatrick friend and former aide who is running Mike Duggan’s campaign for Detroit mayor.

The previously undisclosed gifts bring to a total of $10,750 that was hidden from parole officials. A state probe of Kilpatrick’s finances continues and it is unclear whether the newly disclosed cash gifts will lead to additional punishment.

“It’s perfectly clear: He was required to disclose it,” Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan told The News on Thursday. “Any income, including gifts.”

Kilpatrick was jailed briefly last month, ordered to wear an ankle tether, placed under house arrest and barred from traveling home to Texas during breaks in the City Hall corruption trial after failing to disclose cash gifts.

Kilpatrick tried to justify hiding the money, saying he received the gifts while his parole was being supervised by Texas officials.

Not true, Marlan said.

The cash gifts are outlined in emails Kilpatrick sent this month to his parole agent, Charles Wright (dubbed “C-Wright” by Kilpatrick), who is investigating whether the former mayor committed other parole violations.

Kilpatrick told Wright that the former Supreme Court justice gave a $1,000 check. The money was for Kilpatrick’s three children, according to a Feb. 6 email.

Kilpatrick couldn’t remember when he got the check but it was before Sept. 1.

Former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Mallett’s name surfaced during the City Hall corruption trial. He stepped down as Detroit’s chief operating officer during Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor in April 2002.

Kilpatrick also said he has received $5,000 from his mom since August 2011. Some of the money was spent paying restitution and on flights between Texas and Detroit, according to the emails.

Until last month, Kilpatrick was flying home on weekend breaks using Buddy Passes on Delta Air Lines.

The passes let him fly for free. All he had to pay was $197 tax, according to the emails.

It’s unclear from the emails whether the tax is per flight or round trip.

There were other newly disclosed cash gifts.

Kilpatrick said a woman named Karen Anderson wired $500 sometime before September. The money was for his wife and children, according to the emails.

A man named Greg Jones, meanwhile, wired $200 late last year, Kilpatrick said. The money allegedly was a birthday gift for the former mayor’s twins, Jalil and Jelani.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor's sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner in the basement courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor’s sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner in the basement courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is complaining about wearing an ankle tether and living under house arrest and has repeatedly begged to fly to Texas to visit his wife and children, The Detroit News has learned.

The complaints started almost immediately after Kilpatrick was charged with 14 counts of violating parole last month, charges that were filed while he stood trial in the City Hall corruption case.

He violated parole by failing to disclose cash gifts that could have been used toward the $854,063 restitution he owes the city from the text-message scandal.

Kilpatrick was placed under house arrest, ordered to spend a weekend in jail and wear the tether amid a continuing investigation into the ex-Detroit mayor’s finances.

“PLEASE UNCHAIN ME,” Kilpatrick wrote to his parole agent Charles Wright on Feb. 19, according to emails obtained by The News through the Freedom of Information Act.

Wright said no.

Kilpatrick has asked to fly home again this weekend and a decision could come as early as today.

It is the latest plea from Kilpatrick, who is awaiting a verdict from jurors in the City Hall corruption trial. Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson face up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.

Kilpatrick and his family are renting this 5,000-square-foot home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Kilpatrick and his family are renting this 5,000-square-foot home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Kilpatrick, 42, was charged with violating parole Jan. 25.

Almost immediately, he started complaining about the ankle tether and having to live, essentially under house arrest, at his mother’s home in Detroit.

Kilpatrick has asked repeatedly since Feb. 2 — a week after he was charged with parole violations — to have the restrictions relaxed so he could fly to his family’s 5,000-square-foot rental home in Grand Prairie, Texas.

let me go home

Kwame Kilpatrick's father Bernard is flanked by his grandsons Jelani, left, and Jalil.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s father Bernard is flanked by his grandsons Jelani, left, and Jalil.

The parole agent refused to let Kilpatrick fly home.

Kilpatrick tried again days later.

“My sons are playing one of their remaining 2 varsity basketball games on Friday,” Kilpatrick wrote on Feb. 6. “I have only seen them play in one game this season. It would be amazing for them, as well as me, if I’m allowed to attend this activity. I humbly request to travel to my home. would return on Sunday evening…”

Kilpatrick also griped about being separated from his family and referenced the corruption trial.

“This is the last weekend before closing arguments in the biggest political trial in the history of Detroit,” Kilpatrick wrote to his parole agent. “I am going to be prevented from seeing my family, yet again, for the duration of jury deliberation.”

Kilpatrick tried again on Feb. 7, telling his parole agent he had booked a flight that night.

god fly

Kilpatrick waited for an answer as the 7:46 p.m. flight departure came and went.

At 9:08 p.m., Kilpatrick sent his parole agent another email.

Kilpatrick wore an ankle tether to a preliminary examination on assault charges in August 15, 2008, amid the text-message scandal.

Kilpatrick wore an ankle tether to a preliminary examination on assault charges in August 15, 2008, amid the text-message scandal.

“Of course there is no way for me to go home tonight,” Kilpatrick wrote. “I want to humbly request to be allowed to travel tomorrow. I am a husband and father that is desperately trying to spend some time with my wife and children before jury deliberations begin.

“I have not been able to see them for more than a month. I have worn a GPS device for nearly a month, been on house arrest, spent the weekend in prison, and been denied to go to my own home.

“I have completely cooperated with your investigation,” he continued. “I am humbly requesting that, even during this very narrowly focused part of your investigation, that I be allowed to travel to my home tomorrow…”

The agent said no, triggering a bitter response from Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick's family as they leave US District Court in downtown Detroit on Feb. 12. In the foreground is his mother Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick and his three sons. (Clarence Tabb, Jr./The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick’s family as they leave US District Court in downtown Detroit on Feb. 12. In the foreground is his mother Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick and his three sons. (Clarence Tabb, Jr./The Detroit News)

“Parole issues have already negatively affected my preparation for the case and has significantly hindered my ability to properly defend myself,” wrote Kilpatrick, who did not testify during the corruption trial and only a handful of defense witnesses were called.

Kilpatrick asked for another favor Feb. 16 after his wife, Carlita, and their three children flew into Detroit to attend closing arguments in the corruption trial.

Since Kilpatrick was under house arrest, he was unable to leave his mother’s home.

“I HATE asking this question,” Kilpatrick wrote. “It is absolutely against any notion of humanity and freedom that I have left within me, but I have been requested to ask you for this by my family. Again, I HATE it. I am requesting to take my family to the airport in the morning…”

No dice, his parole agent said.

Two days later, Kilpatrick asked for permission to fly to Texas, arguing that he is not a flight risk or accused of violent crimes, drugs or “sexual deviance.”

kwame long email

Again, the agent refused.

The next day, Feb. 19, Kilpatrick complained again about the ankle tether malfunctioning.

“Please take this thing off!” he wrote.

Marlan, the state prisons spokesman, justified why Kilpatrick’s agent has refused to approve travel requests.

“(Kilpatrick) is charged with a number of parole violations for failing to disclose income, so letting him fly all the way across the country to Texas is something his parole agent was not ready to do,” Marlan said. “He’s asking to go home again this weekend, but his parole agent has not made a decision yet.”

Jurors punched out Tuesday without reaching a verdict in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial after about 32 hours of deliberations.

The sixth day of deliberations was the most eventful as the anonymous jurors were ushered into the courtroom to ask a question about racketeering — the nuclear bomb of the corruption case — and extortion.

Today, we learned the jury foreman is a dude. And we realized the anonymous panelists have great eyes for detail and would make great copy editors.

We would hire them, but they hate us.

Jurors will return to federal court — snow be damned — at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

A brief hearing Tuesday in the corruption trial offered insight into the jury and apparent progress made by the panel after approximately 28 hours of deliberations.

The jury foreman is one of four male jurors, according to U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. There are eight women and four men in the jury, which includes five blacks and a Hispanic.

The jury appears to be closely scrutinizing the 38-count indictment against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson.

The jury’s question, which prompted today’s hearing, focused on the most serious count facing the trio, racketeering conspiracy, which is a 20-year felony.

Jurors also asked a question about one of the extortion charges, specifically count #7 — an apparent sign of progress made by the jury after deliberations that have spanned six days.

Jurors were dressed casually in jeans, pullovers and T-shirts, a noticeable shift from more formal attire during the five-month trial.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Jurors in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial had a technical question Tuesday about the wording of charges listed in the 38-count indictment.

The question related to wording that was slightly different in the racketeering charge against the former Detroit mayor, his father and contractor Bobby Ferguson, and an extortion count against Kilpatrick and Ferguson.

The 20-year felonies are based on the same alleged misconduct, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds told jurors.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

The judge told jurors the counts are separate and independent of each other.

The extortion charge referred to by jurors is count #7 in the indictment.

Kilpatrick and Ferguson are accused of extorting more than $1.7 million from contractor Lakeshore Engineering Services and a related firm A&H Contractors. The extortion stemmed from a sewer contract.

Executives paid the money because they feared their firms would suffer economically, according to the indictment.

Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas unsuccessfully objected to the judge reading the jury’s question in open court, citing the media’s presence and coverage of the five-month trial.

Kilpatrick trio

Jurors in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case have asked a question and U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds is gathering lawyers involved in the case to her courtroom for the first time since closing arguments.

Jurors will be brought into the judge’s courtroom at approximately 10:30 a.m. Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson are not required to attend the impromptu hearing.

Check back for updates on the jury’s question and any other developments.

A sick juror brought an early end to deliberations Monday in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case.

Jurors were sent home before 11:20 a.m. and are scheduled to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

From court spokesman Rod Hansen:

I have been informed, Jury deliberated this morning. However one of the jurors was not feeling well and they were excused and have left for the day. Still plan on resuming deliberations tomorrow morning at 9am

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sounded pretty confident — cocky? — on the eve of jury deliberations rebooting in the City Hall corruption case.

Kilpatrick, who knows a thing or four about failure, tweeted Sunday about overcoming defeat, killing giants (we’re looking at you, Department of Justice!) and blockbuster endings.

1025kwame

Kwame Kilpatrick’s mom coughed up $500 Wednesday to help the former Detroit mayor pay restitution to the city, the third straight month the cash-strapped corruption defendant has been unable to afford the payment, according to the state.

Kilpatrick disclosed the payment arrangement to state prison officials, who sent him to jail last month on a parole violation for failing to disclose almost $6,000 in gifts.

The former mayor spent the weekend in jail because he didn’t report money that could have been used toward the $854,063 restitution he still owes the city from the text-message scandal.

Former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick

Kilpatrick could face more time if he’s convicted in the racketeering trial — or if the Michigan Department of Corrections finds other violations.

Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said former U.S. Rep Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick made the payment Wednesday.

Kilpatrick has complained he is broke and unable to earn money while standing trial on corruption charges that could send him to prison for up to 20 years.

The News reported in December that Kilpatrick owed $1.8 million to creditors and that his bank account was overdrawn by $231.

He paid the restitution last month after borrowing money from an unidentified relative. In December, he made the restitution payment after receiving $2,000 from Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks.

The undisclosed gift led to parole violation charges and the weekend jail stint.

Ironically, Kilpatrick this month offered his view on sons begging mothers for cash:

Just found this while replacing the bird cage liner — a little light reading to help pass the time as jurors deliberate the fates of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his special guests went bar hopping from the Town Pump Tavern to Half Past Three to Floods Bar and Grill to The River Rock to Club Network and finally to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History which had been transformed into a very hip night club for the evening. The event was called the Inaugural Club Crawl and it was part of Kilpatrick's inaugural week events.

Kwame Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty and his special guests went bar hopping from the Town Pump Tavern to Half Past Three to Floods Bar and Grill to The River Rock to Club Network and finally to the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History which had been transformed into a very hip night club for the evening. The event was called the Inaugural Club Crawl and it was part of Kilpatrick’s inaugural week events.

Source: The Detroit News

Date: Friday, January 4, 2002

Byline: Darci McConnell and Cameron McWhirter

Kilpatrick: ‘We have nowhere to go but up’

DETROIT — At his inauguration this morning, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is expected to deliver a sobering message — that Detroit’s needs may be graver than many already believe.

The city’s 60th mayor said in an interview that he expects to continue the freeze on hiring and pay raises, reflecting a ballooning budget deficit. He is also delivering a harsher message to the city’s employees than he did on the campaign trail — that they may have to compete for their jobs with private contractors if services don’t improve. He also will issue a call for residents to do their part in helping the city rebound.

At the same time, Kilpatrick said he would tell witnesses to his 11 a.m. swearing-in ceremony at the Fox Theatre, as well as live TV and radio audiences, that he intends to pursue the aggressive agenda of change laid out in his election campaign. As a start, Kilpatrick said he has set two priorities for his first 180 days:

— An overhaul of the troubled Police Department, resulting in more cops on the street and better discipline.

— Recreation and after-school programs for the Detroit Public Schools’ 180,000 students, something he calls “Mayor’s Time.”

The 31-year-old Kilpatrick will also have on his plate the city’s budget crisis, contract talks covering 16,862 unionized employees, permanent sites for the city’s three casinos and the need to streamline and make city services more efficient.

“What we talked about on the trail was the enormity of the problems, and it’s like I thought it was,” Kilpatrick said. “I thought of the worst possible condition. What I’m saying is, we have nowhere to go but up. It’s an exciting challenge.”

Kilpatrick’s determination to force fundamental changes in the face of those challenges underscores his sense of urgency about the city’s problems.

Detroit’s youngest elected mayor takes the reins of government at a time when residential and business flight continues because of deteriorating conditions. City government has struggled to deliver basic services to residents, halt the spread of blight or respond to residents’ complaints…

…Kilpatrick was lauded as a rising star by the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams; Republican Lt. Gov. Richard Posthumus; and a string of other state, local and federal office-holders. Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus also were on hand. Kilpatrick’s mother is U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Detroit.

In a meeting with appointees to his administration Wednesday, Kilpatrick doled out assignments to holdover department heads from the Archer administration. The holdovers have 45 days to get results if they want to stay on.

He also sought to show who is boss. No talking to the press, he admonished. No talking to members of the City Council, either. And all personnel matters must go first through his office…

…Kilpatrick’s police reforms will include dismantling the 400-person drug unit, putting more officers in the community and weeding out corruption

…There have been other indications of the challenges Kilpatrick faces with the police. In December, the board of the Detroit Police Officers Association voted to buy a ticket to a $3,000-a-person fundraiser for Kilpatrick’s inauguration. But the rank-and-file voted it down a week later.

Jeff Beasley

Jeff Beasley

The first day of jury deliberations in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial ended today with silence from the jury room, no puffs of smoke, no nothing.

Jurors are believed to have spent about seven hours deliberating the fates of Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson.

Deliberations are expected to resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

While jurors were on the 8th floor deliberating, Kilpatrick’s fraternity brother appeared on the first floor.

Jeff Beasley, the city’s former treasurer and Kilpatrick’s college pal at Florida A&M University, was arraigned today on charges he pocketed bribes in exchange for approving pension fund deals.

He stood mute and was freed on $10,000 unsecured bond. A trial is set for July.

The seven-count arraignment was a bit of housekeeping for Beasley, who originally was indicted one year ago amid a widening pension fund scandal. The indictment was recently updated with additional charges and defendants, which required Beasley to be arraigned on the superseding indictment.

Beasley is accused of accepting cash, golf clubs, gambling money, tickets to Las Vegas shows, massages, limousine rides and free flights in return for approving more than $200 million in pension fund investments.

Many of those deals fizzled, costing the pension funds more than $84 million, money that could have been used to pay for benefits of thousands of retired Detroit municipal employees.

If convicted, Beasley faces up to 20 years in prison of charges that include extortion, attempted extortion and conspiracy.

Beasley is portrayed as the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of dollars controlled by the city’s pension funds.

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court

Prosecutors allege he wielded power over people and businesses seeking investments from the Police and Fire and the General Retirement pension funds because he sat on both boards and was a fundraiser for the ex-mayor’s nonprofit group, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

In several cases, Beasley supported multimillion-dollar loans to businesses that allegedly contributed cash to the mayor’s charity, according to the indictment.

Beasley also allegedly asked business people to provide private flights for Kilpatrick, his wife Carlita, his father and others to Bermuda, Las Vegas and Florida.

Beasley appeared in court two weeks after his co-defendant, Detroit businessman Chauncey Mayfield, pled guilty to paying the former treasurer bribes.

Mayfield, 56, was a prominent investment adviser and fiduciary for the city’s pension funds and oversaw a $200 million real-estate portfolio.

Mayfield admitted paying bribes, including private jet flights and donations to the Civic Fund, in exchange for Beasley backing pension fund business ventures.

Among the alleged bribes: Mayfield hired the married Beasley’s “paramour,” according to prosecutors.

Mayfield, who was profiled by the New York Times two years ago, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A third man, Atlanta businessman Roy Dixon, is charged in the pension fund case. He is accused of paying bribes to Beasley and other officials, and embezzling millions of dollars in pension fund loans.

Jurors must sort through more than two dozen charges and consider more than 80 witnesses and numerous text messages in the case that could send the trio to prison for up to 20 years.

“If deliberations go a week and there’s no movement, that’s not a surprise,” said Peter Henning, a Wayne State law professor and former federal prosecutor. “Two weeks? You start to wonder what’s going on.”

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

Prosecutors allege Kwame Kilpatrick and the other defendants forced contractors working for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to hire Bobby Ferguson’s companies by threatening to cut them out of multimillion-dollar projects.

According to prosecutors, the mayor’s father was a middleman and shared in the proceeds.

Former Detroit water department boss Victor Mercado, who allegedly used his power to steer work to Ferguson, pleaded guilty in November, weeks into the trial.

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Michigan have a 98.3 percent conviction rate in criminal cases, according to the most recently available statistics.

The U.S Attorney’s Office prosecuted 892 people last year in the Eastern District of Michigan. Fifteen people were acquitted.

Seven of those acquittals came in one trial: the sedition case against the Hutaree militia. Two militia members were defended by Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer, James C. Thomas, and Ferguson’s lawyer, Michael Rataj.

The former mayor has repeatedly expressed optimism about the trial. On Sunday, he took to Twitter.

“Guy just asked if ‘I was mad at everybody.; No Sir! When I finally forgave myself, I knew I couldn’t harbor unforgiveness of others. #newlife,” Kilpatrick wrote on the social media site.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Taxpayers across Metro Detroit are the real victims of Kwame Kilpatrick’s corrupt tenure and the time has come for him to be punished, a federal prosecutor said today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow offered an impassioned response to an emotional closing argument given one day earlier by Bobby Ferguson’s defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn.

“Throughout this trial, it has become completely clear that Mayor Kilpatrick and his accomplices, his partners, used the public that he was elected to serve,” Chutkow told jurors.

“Mr. Kilpatrick was elected by the citizens of Detroit to represent their interests, not the defendants,” he continued. “To look out for their welfare, not his own wallet. He was not elected to quietly stuff half a million dollars into his bank accounts, so he could make sure Bobby Ferguson got $83 million in revenues, so he could make sure his father was a middleman on city deals. He was entrusted to act for the people of Detroit.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Eunice Kennedy Shriver

On Thursday, Evelyn quoted John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. while urging jurors to acquit the Detroit contractor and close friend of Kilpatrick.

On Friday, Chutkow quoted Kennedy’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics and railed against public corruption 40 years ago.

Chutkow used one of Kennedy Shriver’s speeches to draw comparisons to corruption in Detroit.

Quoting Kennedy Shriver, Chutkow said:

“These are most bitter days, and yet as our leaders stand revealed, we see not evil men, but shallow and pathetic men.

The final charge against these men, I think, will not be shabby deals, their frantic coverups. No. It will simply be that having been given extraordinary power and opportunity to make life better in this nation and the world, they scarcely tried. Their message was ‘grab what you can and run.’ Let us see if we can make something grow in the desert they left behind.”

Chutkow also said the Special Olympics was a real nonprofit, unlike the ex-mayor’s alleged personal piggy bank, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

Chutkow said Detroit is suffering through its own bitter days, thanks to Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and Ferguson.

“The scale of corruption was breathtaking,” Chutkow told jurors. “Corruption depends on indifference. We cannot turn away and ignore the corruption that occurred in this city.

“It is time for the former mayor and his accomplices to be held accountable for their crimes,” he continued. “It is past time.

“What you are here to do is assess responsibility for the shameful events that transpired in the city,” he added. “That is something you can do and we are giving you the tools to do it.”

Prosecutors tried to rehabilitate the reputations of criminals and other government witnesses who testified about alleged crimes committed by Kwame Kilpatrick, his dad Bernard and pal Bobby Ferguson.

Derrick Miller

Derrick Miller

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow defended star witness Derrick Miller and others one day after defense lawyers called the witnesses liars “bought and paid for by the government.”

Chutkow defended Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell, who testified about delivering kickbacks to the Detroit mayor stuffed in her bra.

“They called her an alcoholic and gambler,” Chutkow told jurors today. “Another long-time (Kilpatrick) friend thrown on the scrap heap.”

Chutkow defended former Kilpatrick aide Marc Andre Cunningham, who testified about being forced to kickback cash to Bernard Kilpatrick from a pension fund deal.

Cunningham was Kilpatrick’s fraternity brother in college who was one of two dozen people convicted in the City Hall corruption probe.

Defense lawyers tried to cast doubt on Cunningham’s testimony.

“Why, because Cunningham admitted paying kickbacks to the mayor’s father at the request of his friend, the mayor,” Chutkow told jurors.

Chutkow also defended alleged bagman Mahlon Clift, the mayor’s long-time friend who testified he delivered $90,000 in cash to Kilpatrick in Detroit and Texas.

The money came from Ferguson, who was sharing proceeds of illegal activity, according to prosecutors.

“Why are the defendants fighting so hard?” Chutkow asked. “Because they know if you believe what he said was true, then they are guilty of committing bribery.”

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick’s Achilles heel, text messages, are the most important evidence for jurors to consider when deciding whether to convict the former mayor, his pal and father, prosecutors said.

Text messages sent between Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson reveal bid rigging, extortion and other crimes, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow told jurors today.

“They are a crime scene frozen in time that you can examine from any angle you want,” Chutkow said. “There is no better evidence. Corruption be its very nature happens with winks and nods and the payoffs happen in the shadows when nobody is looking.”

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

The lack of paper trail documenting hundreds of thousands of payments from ex-Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado and Bernard Kilpatrick indicates a series of bribe and extortion payments, prosecutors said.

Karl Kado walks out of federal court in Detroit. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Karl Kado walks out of federal court in Detroit. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Kado paid in cash because Bernard Kilpatrick didn’t want to document illegal activity, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow told jurors today.

“Ask yourself, if Bernard Kilpatrick ran a legitimate consulting business, where are the invoices…where are the receipts, where are the form 1099s?” Chutkow asked jurors. “Why didn’t he ever demand a check from Mr. Kado so he could keep his own ledgers in order? It’s because he didn’t want anyone to know about those payments.”

Chutkow turned sarcastic while discussing Beranrd Kilpatrick’s defense that he was a legitimate consultant doing real work for clients seeking city contracts.

“Most of the work was by (defense lawyer) John Shea trying to come up with an explanation of why people were paying Bernard Kilpatrick in the first place,” Chutkow said.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick, his mistress and family drained his nonprofit group of $550,000, money that allegedly bankrolled a high-rolling lifestyle, prosecutors said today.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow criticized the former mayor’s lawyer for misleading jurors, telling them prosecutors only accused Kilpatrick of misspending about $13,000.

Chutkow said the defense was “incredibly misleading.”

Christine Beatty

Christine Beatty

The defense’s $13,000 figure didn’t include more than $200,000 given to the mayor’s family and friends, including ex-mistress Christine Beatty and father Bernard Kilpatrick, the prosecutor said.

The figure also didn’t include $150,000 in nonprofit cash spent on Kilpatrick’s political campaigns or money allegedly misspent in 2008, the year he resigned as mayor.

“That’s the year when the mayor, Bernard Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty and others drained the fund of hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own use,” Chutkow said.

Kilpatrick didn’t bother repaying the nonprofit group for improper personal expenses until after receiving a subpoena for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund’s records, the prosecutor said.

After receiving the subpoena, Kilpatrick repaid $13,000.

“That subpoena put him on notice that there was an investigation of the uses of that fund,” Chutkow said. “It was only after the subpoena came out, after almost a decade of using the money, that he pays back a sliver of what was owed.”

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick’s greed and quest for cash trumped family ties, prosecutors said while belittling the former mayor’s explanation for more than $500,000 in unexplained cash found in his bank accounts.

Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson

Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow showed jurors text messages that revealed Kilpatrick’s own sister griped about city contracts that allegedly were steered to the mayor’s pal, Bobby Ferguson.

“Can we make a $ too?!!” Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson wrote in one text.

“By putting Ferguson over his own sister, Kwame Kilpatrick was really picking himself and his own financial benefit over his own sister,” Chutkow told jurors.

Chutkow dismissed defense suggestions that Kilpatrick was given large cash gifts by friends and staffers and that the gifts explained how the former mayor spent almost $841,000 more than what he earned while in public office.

Chutkow rejected claims that Kilpatrick received some or most of that money from birthday gifts given at a “Splash of Red” party.

He showed jurors one gift from the party, a $10 check from a woman named Mablene Rogers.

The cash Kilpatrick spent was kickbacks and bribes from city contractors, Chutkow said.

Kizzi Montgomery

Kizzi Montgomery

“There was no splash of red,” Chutkow told jurors. “This was a tidal wave of green.”

Chutkow said Kilpatrick was selfish, forcing underlings to give him cash on Christmas and his birthday each year.

Chutkow focused on the former mayor’s employee Kizzi Montgomery, who testified she was forced to give money to Kilpatrick.

“Think about this, if Mr. Kilpatrick was willing to shake down a modestly compensated staffer, do you think he had any reservations about shaking down a businessman of means?” Chutkow asked jurors.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson had so much influence within Kwame Kilpatrick’s administration that he could pressure city officials to steer contracts his way and threaten rich and powerful businessmen, prosecutors said today.

Prosecutor Mark Chutkow showed jurors text messages illustrating Ferguson’s influence when he wanted to grab a piece of work repairing a collapsed sewer in Sterling Heights.

“We need to meet on how I move in,” Ferguson texted the mayor in one exchange shown to jurors today. “I got a great idea sir, holla in the a.m.”

Tony Soave

Tony Soave

Chutkow also fought defense arguments that Ferguson and Kilpatrick had no power to scare rich moguls like Grosse Pointe Farms tycoon Tony Soave.

Soave allegedly dumped his minority subcontractor after being ordered to by Kilpatrick.

“The defense said Tony Soave is such a big shot there is no way they could threaten him,” Chutkow said. “(But) he has businesses that can be messed with. If it was true he couldn’t get bullied, why did he dump his good friend Charlie Williams and insert Bobby Ferguson into his place when the mayor told him to do that? Why not just say no? He did it because the mayor told him to.”

Soave also was scared to dump Ferguson on a contract after the mayor’s friend performed poorly on a job.

“Why didn’t he dump him right there?” Chutkow asked. “He didn’t need the mayor’s permission — or did he?”

Kilpatrick trio

Prosecutors refocused the City Hall corruption trial on crimes allegedly committed by Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and the ex-mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick.

Prosecutors delivered a rebuttal one day after defense lawyers delivered passionate closing arguments that referenced the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow

“This case has always been about bribery, extortion and fraud,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow told jurors. “Rather than meeting those allegations head on, the defendants tried to justify their actions as somehow being drive by the advancement of minority businesses.

“That agenda was a smoke screen for their real agenda, which was helping themselves to the city’s resources,” he added. “In reality, they were equal opportunity extortionists who drove out black and white contractors who got in their way.”

Chutkow showed jurors text messages between Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson discussing contract prices and allegedly rigging bids.

“Why is the mayor of a major city talking about the prices of a contract?” Chutkow asked jurors. “Because he was going to share in the prices of that contract.”

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy

Kwame Kilpatrick didn’t send his arch-nemesis a Valentine’s Day card yesterday.

Instead, he insulted Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who filed felony charges against Kilpatrick amid the text-message scandal, which ended with Hizzoner in the hoosegow. Later, Worthy pushed for the former mayor to pay more each month in restitution to Detroit.

Kilpatrick’s fresh beef with Worthy started Tuesday, when he tried pumping himself up for closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial.

Kilpatrick’s tweet sparked some snark.

Bobby Ferguson, left, and lawyer Gerald Evelyn outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson, left, and lawyer Gerald Evelyn outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer capped an emotional, two-hour-long closing argument on the verge of tears, his voice cracking while quoting Martin Luther King Jr.

Attorney Gerald Evelyn invoked the Civil Rights movement and King while urging jurors to acquit Ferguson in the City Hall corruption trial. The same tactic was used during Ferguson”s bid-rigging trial last summer, which ended in a hung jury.

A black female juror appeared to become emotional today when Evelyn quoted King.

The King references came late in a long, thundering argument during which Evelyn tried to undercut testimony from a string of witnesses who said they were extorted by Ferguson and his friend, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

king

“The government says (Ferguson) belonged to a criminal organization that never really existed,” Evelyn told jurors.

Amid the pressure of a five-month-long trial and upcoming deliberations, Evelyn urged jurors to find comfort in King’s writings.

Specifically, King’s book “Strength to Love.”

“One of those sermons reminded us that ‘the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience…” Evelyn said despite his voice starting to crack, “but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.'”

Earlier, Evelyn confronted Ferguson’s reputation for toughness, which includes a conviction for pistol-whipping a man.

“He’s a tough-minded businessman who has been really steeled by his experiences,” Evelyn told jurors. “He learned the hard knocks the hard way. He has fought and struggled and succeeded in the construction industry.”

Tony Soave's mansion, one of the largest in the Grosse Pointes.

Tony Soave’s mansion, one of the largest in the Grosse Pointes.

Here, Evelyn turned sarcastic.

“Not like the ‘victims’ in this case,” the lawyer said, referring to city contractors who allegedly were extorted, namely Grosse Pointe Farms tycoon Tony Soave (who lives in this mansion).

Ferguson owned a real construction company, employed real people and owned real equipment and wasn’t a minority front used by white contractors to capitalize on racial preferences in the city contracting process, Evelyn said.

“For me, it’s emotional, making money off the Civil Rights movement,” Evelyn told jurors.

“(Ferguson) is also a man who cares about others,” Evelyn continued. “People like him in this community.”

Ferguson was charitable and volunteered time and equipment for the anti-blight campaign Motor City Makeover, Evelyn said.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

“That saved millions of dollars,” Evelyn said.

Evelyn tried countering allegations that Ferguson pocketed money from city contracts for doing no work.

“Does he look like a no-work person?” Evelyn asked jurors while pointing at the hulking, balding and bearded Ferguson.

Gerald Evelyn, left, and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Lawyer Gerald Evelyn, left, Bobby Ferguson and lawyers Rob Higbee and Michael Rataj outside federal court.

The feds can’t prove Bobby Ferguson gave Kwame Kilpatrick any illegal payoffs or kickbacks, the contractor’s lawyer said today during a passionate closing argument that mocked prosecutors.

Attorney Gerald Evelyn railed against prosecutors for showing jurors photos of Ferguson’s safes stuffed with cash, and suggesting the money was given to Kilpatrick.

“There is nothing that connects this money that Mr. Ferguson legally earned and worked hard for and paid taxes on,” Evelyn told jurors during closing arguments.

“They showed you money seized in 2009 and 2010 — that means before then he was giving that money to (Kilpatrick). There is no proof and that is completely illogical.

“Why is it in his safe if he’s giving it to (Kilpatrick)?” Evelyn added.

“‘Oh, we can’t track it,'” Evelyn said, using a mocking voice to imitate the government.

“Yes you can!” he shouted. “They should show to the penny how much he supposedly gave to Mr. Kilpatrick to show what’s missing.

“Ain’t nothin’ missing,” Evelyn said.

“They’re trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” Evelyn said, his voice rising to a shout. “Don’t let it happen!”

A juror in Bobby Ferguson’s $12 million bid-rigging case that ended in a mistrial last summer weighed in today on the City Hall corruption trial.

Juror Theresa Burchett-Sparks posted the following Facebook comment about closing arguments today.

“Hope their (sic) isn’t a juror like the juror in the Bobby Ferguson trial – then they all walk…So unfair and a waste of time for all people involved. Just sayin…they need to change that.”

Burchett-Sparks sat on the jury that deadlocked last summer in Ferguson’s bid-rigging trial in federal court.

After the mistrial, jurors told The News they had voted to convict Ferguson on four counts before adjourning for the weekend. When they returned, they were deadlocked 10-1 on conviction.

Jurors identified the holdout as the lone black female juror.

U.S. District Judge David Lawson, however, met with jurors privately and said they described a swirl of votes inside the jury room.

“The court learned that the votes on some counts as to some defendants favored conviction, the votes on other counts as to other defendants favored acquittal, and still other counts and defendants divided the jury nearly evenly,” the judge wrote in an order filed last year.

In a Facebook post last summer, Burchett-Sparks provided insight into deliberations.

“I can tell you 1st hand that the votes were 10 to 1 on almost all counts and I’m so happy this is going to trial again … hope they pay for what they have done to Detroit …,” Burchett-Sparks wrote June 26.

Ferguson is set to be retried on the bid-rigging charges in April.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

It makes no sense that Kwame Kilpatrick could threaten one of the state’s richest and most powerful businessmen into hiring his pal, contractor Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer told jurors today.

Kilpatrick never told Grosse Pointe Farms tycoon Tony Soave to hire his pal Ferguson on a 2002 sewer deal, Ferguson’s lawyer Gerald Evelyn said during closing arguments.

Tony Soave

Tony Soave

Evelyn attacked Soave, calling him a multi-billionaire who was too tough and powerful to be extorted by Kilpatrick, who at the time was 31 years old and the new mayor of Detroit.

Soave testified in December that he hired Ferguson on a $50 million sewer deal because Kilpatrick was holding up the contract and told him he had hired the wrong subcontractor.

The right subcontractor was Ferguson, the mayor allegedly told Soave.

(Kilpatrick) is making demands on this multi-billionaire?” Evelyn told jurors. “Does that make any sense?”

Evelyn was trying to fight one of the key points of the government’s racketeering case: That businessmen feared they would lose valuable city contracts unless they paid bribes and kickbacks to Kilpatrick and Ferguson.

“He’s afraid?” Evelyn said, referring to Soave. “(Soave) could probably crush (Kilpatrick) financially.”

Christine Beatty

Christine Beatty

Soave, who sold his garbage-hauling company for $750 million and who has had contacts with known mob associates, was one of the most colorful witnesses to testify during the City Hall corruption trial.

He testified about giving Kilpatrick, mistress Christine Beatty and others $385,000 worth of free flights on his fleet of private jets.

He took Kilpatrick and Beatty on a lavish New York City shopping spree and bought Bernard Kilpatrick a $6,000 Cartier watch.

“You saw the kind of man Soave is,” Evelyn told jurors today. “He muted it a bit. But at one point he allegedly said Mr. Ferguson wanted to do a joint venture with him. He told Mr. Ferguson to go f— himself.

“That’s the real Tony Soave. That’s the guy. When pushed, that’s what you get out of Tony Soave. He’s not the kind of guy to get pushed around.

“He’s a strong guy; dealt with all kinds of people. If he’s confronted about something he doesn’t want to do, guess what you’re told?”

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson was victimized by two contractors who squeezed him out of a $19 million taxpayer-funded sewer deal in 2002.

Ferguson lawyer Gerald Evelyn pointed to the contract to counter the government’s portrait of Ferguson as a menacing racketeer and friend of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who got paid for no-show work.

Evelyn reminded jurors about Lakeshore Engineering Service winning a $19 million sewer contract in 2004.

The firm won the city contract, in part, because Ferguson was included on the project as a minority subcontractor.

Under that contract, Ferguson Enterprises was expected to do just over one-third of the work, with Lakeshore handling 38 percent and another company, Lanzo Construction, 19 percent. Lanzo was not headquartered in Detroit and had few minority employees.

After Lakeshore won the job, Lanzo’s Angelo D’Alessandro, who owned another company, DCG, decided he wanted DCG to perform much of the work that Ferguson’s excavating company was slated to do. Ultimately, D’Alessandro decided to pay Ferguson $900,000 to quit the job and do no work.

“(Ferguson’s) not asking to get out, they want him out,” Evelyn told jurors.

Bobby Ferguson and lawyer Gerald Evelyn outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson and lawyer Gerald Evelyn outside federal court.

Gerald Evelyn continued to ridicule the government’s case today by attacking the credibility of a powerful Detroit contractor.

Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer ripped Lakeshore Engineering executive Avinash Rachmale, who testified last fall that he was extorted by Ferguson.

Avinash Rachmale received the 2009 Champion Award for Entrepreneurial Success from President Obama.

Avinash Rachmale received the 2009 Champion Award for Entrepreneurial Success from President Obama.

In October, Rachmale admitted that a city of Detroit inspector had an office at Lakeshore Engineering and had a company-paid cell phone.

Rachmale also admitted that his long-time friend, Dilip Patel, had an office at Lakeshore’s building and that Patel’s wife, Mena, was paid $2,500 a month by Rachmale’s real estate company.

But Rachmale denied that Patel was a Lakeshore employee and he said their friendship preceded Lakeshore’s business relationship with Detroit. Patel was an inspector who oversaw employees who did check up on some jobs done for the city by Lakeshore.

“Come on, be real,” Evelyn told jurors today. “That’s the height of a conflict of interest. He still can’t tell the truth.

“This is another example of a person who took an oath, sat in the (witness) chair and did not tell you the truth,” Evelyn added.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Prosecutors have tried to criminalize Bobby Ferguson’s friendship with Kwame Kilpatrick in hopes they’ll convince the duo of racketeering, a lawyer said today during closing arguments.

Attorney Gerald Evelyn tried to portray Ferguson as a mentor to other black contractors during the time his own business boomed under Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor.

“What the government wants to do is…criminalize their relationship, his friendship with Mr. Kilpatrick” Evelyn told jurors during closing arguments. “They want to criminalize (Kilpatrick’s) relationship with his father.

“That’s what they need to do for you to be convinced there’s racketeering going on here,” Evelyn added.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the Federal Courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the Federal Courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer ridiculed the government for claiming the contractor showed his power early in Kwame Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor by threatening a police officer.

Defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn highlighted the 2002 incident to cast doubt on the government’s case against Ferguson, who has a criminal record and was convicted of pistol-whipping a former employee.

Detroit Police Officer Michael Fountain

Detroit Police Officer Michael Fountain

Evelyn said Officer Michael Fountain’s story was implausible.

“He had the temerity to tell you he was an officer for 20-some years and this man,” Evelyn said, his voice rising as he pointed at Ferguson, “threatened his life, his wife’s life and children’s life to dismiss some misdemeanor tickets.

(Fountain) has a gun, he’s in court, which is filled with police officers, and he does it in front of two (Kilpatrick bodyguards)? Think about that. How plausible does that sound?”

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer railed against pretrial publicity that clamored for a guilty verdict against the Detroit contractor and his pal, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Attorney Gerald Evelyn launched his closing argument by saying his client has been judged by the public.

“This has been more challenging than any case in recent history,” Evelyn told jurors. “There have been more external influences than I can imagine. The amount of pretrial publicity has intensified during this trial. Built up over years.”

The publicity carries an imperative to convict Ferguson, Evelyn said.

“There is almost an institutional drumbeat that echoes from every corner and screams prejudgment,” Evelyn said.

Evelyn railed against the government and accused agents and prosecutors of pressuring witnesses.

“They’ve pressured people in a way that has caused them to testify, but more than that, the government and the media have demonized…Mr. Kilpatrick and, by extension, my client.

“This demonization has made Kwame Kilpatrick radioactive.”

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Contractor Bobby Ferguson smiled alongside Kwame Kilpatrick today, and shook hands with the former Detroit mayor minutes before his lawyer delivered closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial.

He appeared loose and relaxed as his lawyer Gerald Evelyn prepared to convince jurors not to send the Detroit contractor to prison for 20 years. Ferguson’s wife Marilyn was in the second row of the courtroom.

Prosecutors allege Ferguson’s companies received almost $125 million in city revenue during pal Kilpatrick’s time as mayor.

In all, Ferguson and his firms pocketed almost $84 million in revenue from tainted taxpayer-funded deals that are included in the City Hall corruption indictment.

Bernard Kilpatrick sits behind his son during Kwame's sentencing on state charges in 2008.

Bernard Kilpatrick sits behind his son during Kwame’s sentencing on state charges in 2008.

Bernard Kilpatrick is no saint, but he didn’t extort a handful of clients who were convicted in the City Hall corruption probe, his lawyer told jurors today.

He’s a victim, defense lawyer John Shea said near the end of a two-hour closing argument.

Bernard Kilpatrick was used by businessmen who wanted to capitalize on his knowledge of city government and ties to his son, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, the lawyer said.

Once they got paid, and ensnared in an FBI probe, those same businessmen turned on Bernard Kilpatrick, Shea said.

Bernard Kilpatrick was an All-American for the Ferris State Bulldogs.

Bernard Kilpatrick was an All-American for the Ferris State Bulldogs.

“It’s ludicrous,” Shea said. “This is ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ down the rabbit hole stuff. This is a guy who was looking at angles…but doing it legally…

“I am not trying to make him out to be a saint,” Shea added, turning to his 71-year-old client. “He’s an old basketball player who knows how to mix it up. I’m sure he could throw an elbow if he had to. But he is not guilty of these charges.

“You are not here to decide whether he is a saint,” Shea continued. “Canonization is not a part of your deliberations. You have to acquit him.”

Shea briefly addressed the two charges of filing false tax returns in 2004 and 2005.

Shea told jurors they cannot convict Kilpatrick on a 2004 charge because there’s no record that he ever signed his tax return.

While conceding Kilpatrick did not alert his accountants to $180,000 in 2005 income, Shea said the failure to disclose the income was not willful and therefore not punishable under criminal tax evasion laws.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

It might have been unfair that Bernard Kilpatrick had unrestricted access to the mayor of Detroit. But it wasn’t illegal, the consultant’s lawyer told jurors today.

“Was it easier for Bernard Kilpatrick to get a meeting with his son?” lawyer John Shea asked jurors during closing arguments. “Absolutely. Luck of the last name.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

“Maybe it’s unfair, but it’s not illegal.”

Bernard Kilpatrick is accused of profiting from his Kwame Kilpatrick’s tenure by extorting city contractors.

Shea also countered testimony about $75,000 in payments to his client from Kwame Kilpatrick’s nonprofit group in 2007 and 2008.

“There is no evidence he had any decision-making role in receiving those funds,” Shea told jurors. “There has been evidence he worked for those funds in the sense that he did fundraising, event planning and spoke occasionally.”

Kwame Kilpatrick is accused of defrauding donors and treating the nonprofit group like a personal piggy bank. The Kilpatrick Civic Fund paid for Bernard Kilpatrick to stay in hotels in Texas and Florida.

But Bernard Kilpatrick didn’t know about the payments, which were made by a member of the mayor’s staff.

“This is not evidence of a conspiracy to defraud donors,” Shea said.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court with daughter Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court with daughter Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer tackled one of the most controversial pieces of evidence shown to jurors in the City Hall corruption trial.

Attorney John Shea tried to explain why Kilpatrick was shown on a secretly recorded FBI video pocketing $2,500 from a city contractor in March 2008.

Kilpatrick, the father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was owed $5,000 for working on the Synagro sludge-hauling contract, Shea said.

He billed Synagro Vice President James Rosendall, who was an FBI informant, in December 2007 and spent months trying to collect and getting strung along, Shea said.

 

“This is not attempted extortion,” Shea told jurors during closing arguments. “It was entirely understandable that Bernard Kilpatrick would seek that payment. It’s not extortion. There’s no conspiracy here, either.”

Shea tackled the videotaped payment while trying to convince jurors Bernard Kilpatrick did not try to leverage his son’s status as Detroit mayor to enrich himself.

“It’s hogwash,” Shea said. “You hold these chapters up to the light of day and see Bernard Kilpatrick was doing legitimate work for legitimate clients and getting paid legitimately for it. They don’t in any way evidence participation in extortion schemes or a conspiracy involving racketeering.”

Kilpatrick trio

Jurors in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial won’t start deliberating until Friday.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds told jurors closing arguments will wrap today but the government’s rebuttal won’t happen until tomorrow morning.

“Everyone had hoped we might have time to get all the final closing arguments in (today),” Edmunds told jurors. “It’s just not going to happen.”

“Sorry for being such a windbag,” Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea quipped.

“Maybe they think you are,” the judge said. “I don’t know.”

“I might think I am,” Shea said.

Shea and contractor Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer will finish delivering closing arguments today. The government’s rebuttal will follow Friday morning, along with final jury instructions.

Bernard Kilpatrick and lawyer John Shea outside federal court.

Bernard Kilpatrick and lawyer John Shea outside federal court.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer said he needed an acid bath after an FBI informant testified in the City Hall corruption trial.

Attorney John Shea was referring to Synagro Technologies Vice President James Rosendall, who testified in January about free flights and payments to Bernard Kilpatrick and his son, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Shea was trying to undercut the credibility of a key witness who wore hidden cameras that recorded him paying alleged kickbacks to Bernard Kilpatrick while pursuing a $1.2 billion sludge-hauling deal.

James Rosendall

James Rosendall

“James Rosendall was the most manipulative and immoral witness who testified in this case,” Shea told jurors during closing arguments today. “He lied to everybody.”

Shea jokingly told jurors he needed an acid bath after Rosendall’s testimony.

Rosendall was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison sentence for his role in a Detroit sludge-hauling scandal.

Bernard Kilpatrick had a right to profit from the sludge-hauling contract because he worked as a legitimate consultant on the deal, Shea said.

He tried to blunt the impact of a wiretapped phone call during which Kilpatrick told Rosendall he would blow up the sludge deal unless he received money.

“That’s not extortion,” Shea told jurors.

Kilpatrick was simply blowing off steam and didn’t have the “juice” to kill the Synagro deal, the lawyer has previously said.

“He had a lawful claim to share in the success,” of the sludge deal, Shea told jurors today.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer ripped testimony that the father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pocketed kickbacks from a $30 million pension fund deal.

Attorney John Shea said testimony from former mayoral aide Marc Andre Cunningham was not true.

Cunningham testified in December that he was required to kick back a portion of the $300,000 he got from a financial firm that landed a $30 million loan from two Detroit pension funds.

Marc Andre Cunningham

Marc Andre Cunningham

Cunningham testified he was told during a May 2006 meeting at Mosaic restaurant in Greektown that “BK” had to be in on the deal. Cunningham said he agreed to pay Bernard Kilpatrick $3,000 to $5,000 every few months ”to thank the mayor for that deal, for making sure it went through.”

“If that was true, I’d be worried,” Shea told jurors during closing arguments today.

By May 2006, Bernard Kilpatrick already was working on the deal, providing legitimate insight into the city’s pension funds, Shea said.

Cunningham, the former mayor’s fraternity brother, pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy to commit bribery. He was implicated for his role in securing a $30 million investment from the Detroit General Retirement System and Police and Fire pension fund in a venture capital firm.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

The government tried to “trap” Bernard Kilpatrick after convincing a former Cobo Center contractor to wear a hidden listening device, according to closing arguments today.

Informant Karl Kado wore a wire while meeting with Bernard Kilpatrick. Kado was trying to recoup $1.6 million he believed the city owed him from 2008 for a janitorial contract Kado had at Cobo and for renovating a city-owned building.

Karl Kado

Karl Kado

Kado offered Kilpatrick 10 percent of any money collected, according to the secretly recorded conversation, which was played for jurors today.

“They were trying to trap Bernard Kilpatrick into doing something illegal to help Karl Kado get that money,” defense lawyer John Shea told jurors. “There is nothing remotely improper, illegal, extortionate about this conversation.”

To prove his client was a legitimate political consultant, Shea played another wiretapped conversation for jurors between former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his father.

The two were discussing the money owed to Kado. The mayor refused to pay all the money sought by Kado.

“This is Bernard doing work,representing his client’s interests, and supposedly being in a conspiracy with the mayor to line his pockets,” Shea told jurors. “The mayor is saying ‘I’m not giving your guy what he wants. I don’t care if this means more money for you.

“There is nothing remotely improper about what he was doing here,” Shea continued. “The funny thing is, he failed.”

Shea belittled Kado’s cooperation with the FBI in fall 2005 and 2006.

Despite numerous debriefings, Kado never initially mentioned allegedly being offered a 10-year extension of his contracts at Cobo by Bernard Kilpatrick in exchange for cash.

Kado also didn’t initially disclose to FBI agents that Bernard Kilpatrick once patted him down for a hidden listening device, Shea said.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick

There was nothing illegal about Bernard Kilpatrick consulting for clients who had business pending with the city while his son was mayor, defense lawyer John Shea told jurors today.

The lawyer said Kilpatrick was not an extorter, as the government claims, or a person who got paid for no-show work by businessmen who said they felt forced to hire the father of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

“The government has failed utterly to (prove) that,” Shea told jurors during closing arguments. “Bernard Kilpatrick was valuable as a consultant. The more extensive personal relationship network a consultant has, and the more experience the consultant has with how government entities work, the more valuable the consultant is. And Bernard had those in spades.”

Despite his close ties to the mayor and knowledge of the inner-workings of City Hall, Bernard Kilpatrick occasionally failed to secure work for clients, his lawyer said.

Conrad Mallett

Conrad Mallett

“The basic point is he didn’t get what he wanted all the time,” Shea said.

Bernard Kilpatrick wasn’t the only politically connected consultant working on the sidelines of city government, Shea said.

He named former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett and former state lawmaker Curtis Hertel.

Shea ripped government witness Karl Kado, the former Cobo Center contractor who testified he was extorted out of as much as $300,000 by Bernard Kilpatrick.

“Mr. Kado was, in this trial, the single most difficult witness to get a straight story out of,” Shea told jurors. “We got used to hearing different stories. Karl Kado would flip flop from one sentence to the next, no matter who was asking the questions.”

Kado, who was convicted in the City Hall corruption probe, wore a wire for the FBI and testified that he was held hostage by demands for cash.

Kado testified he was fed up by June 2005 after giving the mayor and his father thousands of dollars.

Karl Kado walks out of federal court in Detroit. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

Karl Kado walks out of federal court in Detroit. (David Guralnick / The Detroit News)

He allegedly gave Bernard Kilpatrick $100,000 — a goodbye gift of sorts.

“I said ‘take it for the re-election, to help the mayor get elected,’” Kado testified. “I said ‘this is the last time you will see me. I’m tired of this.’”

Another time, Kado said he gave $10,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller, who was traveling to Europe for an auto show.

“He wouldn’t take a check. It was another extortion. I had no choice but to give him money,” Kado said. “I am like hostage. I am a hostage at Cobo.”

Shea disputed Kado’s testimony. Kado owed Kilpatrick money for legitimate services, Shea said.

Kado liked paying in cash because he was skimming money from lucrative Cobo contracts, Shea said.

“Bernard Kilpatrick was owed the money,” Shea said. “Bernard Kilpatrick was not dogging Karl Kado for that money. He wasn’t saying he was going to break his legs or anything. There is nothing illegal about that payment.”

Kwame Kilpatrick showed more fight on Twitter yesterday after someone tweaked him over those now-barred freebie flights to Texas.

 

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court.

The numbers help tell a story about Bernard Kilpatrick, the political consultant who Heismanned the witness stand and called zero witnesses during the City Hall corruption trial.

John Shea, left, and Bernard Kilpatrick.

John Shea, left, and Bernard Kilpatrick.

$0

Amount Kilpatrick is paying for his taxpayer-funded lawyer John Shea.

4

Nicknames. He answers to “BK,” “Ziz” (his name at the Shrine of the Black Madonna) and “Killer.” Behind his back, folks call him “Big Goofy.”

20

Years in prison Kilpatrick faces if convicted of racketeering conspiracy.

Leo Sharp

Leo Sharp

71

Years old, which is ancient for a defendant. But not as old as alleged-octogenarian drug mule Leo Sharp.

$218,000

Net gambling losses in Detroit and Las Vegas from 2004 to 2007.

$2.23 million

Amount of cash deposited into his consulting firm’s bank accounts during his son’s tenure as mayor.

$1.4 million

Amount deposited into Kilpatrick’s personal and business accounts in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

$184,000

Amount IRS says Kilpatrick owes for allegedly under-reporting his taxes and hiding income from the government.

Kwame Kilpatrick lawyers Michael Naughton, left, and James C. Thomas.

Kwame Kilpatrick lawyers Michael Naughton, left, and James C. Thomas.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer reacted angrily to a question Tuesday about whether the former Detroit mayor’s wife and children were used as sympathetic props in front of the jury during closing arguments.

“That’s bull—-,” attorney James C. Thomas told The News outside federal court.

Kilpatrick’s wife Carlita and their three sons made their first appearance Tuesday at the City Hall corruption trial.

“They wanted to support their dad,” Thomas said. “That’s important.”

Kwame Kilpatrick's wife and sons Jalil, Jelani and Jonas inside federal court Tuesday.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife and sons Jalil, Jelani and Jonas inside federal court Tuesday. (Sketch by Raymond Stanczak)

2013-0212-dc-kwame042T

Bernard Kilpatrick, right, leaves federal court Tuesday with daughter Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson in downtown Detroit.

A juror in the Kwame Kilpatrick trial fell ill Tuesday, interrupting closing arguments in the City Hall corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds halted the trial at 1:35 p.m., about 10 minutes into the closing argument from Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer.

Closing arguments will resume at 9 a.m. Thursday in federal court.

Edmunds earlier warned lawyers that three or four jurors were feeling ill.

After the break, Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson joked in court with the ex-mayor’s wife Carlita Kilpatrick, who sat in the second row.

After jurors left the courtroom, the trio started laughing and someone said something funny, prompting Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson to slap hands and cackle.

Bernard Kilpatrick, right, and daughter Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson outside federal court Tuesday.

Bernard Kilpatrick, right, and daughter Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson outside federal court Tuesday.

The government sees corruption behind every move Bernard Kilpatrick made, the political consultant’s lawyer told jurors Tuesday.

Attorney John Shea chided government investigators while launching a closing argument in the City Hall corruption trial.

It was not illegal for Bernard Kilpatrick to talk to his son, the former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, about city contracts and clients, Shea told jurors.

“This case is about a government that sees what it wants to see and resolves all contradictions of him in favor of a poisoned view,” Shea said. “And not surprisingly, therefore, finds corruption behind what seems to be his every statement and ignores evidence of legitimacy in his personal relationships, his business relationships and wants you to ignore those as well.

“Bernard Kilpatrick brought a package of experience and connections to his job that made him valuable to people.”

Shea tried to humanize Bernard Kilpatrick, telling jurors he is a 71-year-old father of three and former politician.

“Bernard Kilpatrick had what it took to be a successful consultant,” Shea said. “He had the last name Kilpatrick and was related by blood to the mayor. There is nothing wrong with him utilizing that accidental benefit.”

Prosecutors labeled Bernard Kilpatrick an extorter who shook down city contractors, filed phony tax returns and participated in a criminal racket headed by his son.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s consulting firm Maestro Associates, created when his son took office as Detroit’s mayor in 2002, generated millions in income until Kwame Kilpatrick resigned in 2008.

Between 2002 and 2008, more than $2.23 million was deposited into Maestro Associates’ bank accounts, an IRS agent testified today.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s ex-wife, former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and their grandchildren did not return to federal court to hear the closing argument.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife Carlita, however, returned to listen to Shea’s closing argument.

 

Kwame Kilpatrick's mother and children leave federal court Tuesday.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s mother and children leave federal court Tuesday.

Kwame Kilpatrick, his mother and children were mum while leaving court and blocking traffic today along Lafayette in downtown Detroit.

The family — making their first appearance at the five-month-old City Hall corruption trial  — piled into separate vehicles after Kilpatrick’s defense lawyer delivered a closing argument.

Former Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and her grandchildren climbed into a dark Lincoln MKT that blocked both lanes of traffic along Lafayette in front of the courthouse.

Kwame Kilpatrick, meanwhile, ignored reporters and photographers before getting into a Ford SUV.

carlita2

The case against Kwame Kilpatrick is built upon unreliable witnesses, his attorney said this morning, and he called on jurors to acquit him on all charges.

“I’m going to ask you for a verdict, not guilty on all counts,” James C. Thomas said as he finished his two-hour closing arguments. “Let Mr. Kilpatrick to go back home to his wife and kids.”

His wife Carlita, his three sons, his mother Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and two sisters were on hand to offer support to the former mayor, who faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of charges he ran City Hall like a criminal enterprise.

Thomas said those charges, however, rely on the questionable testimony of three players, each of whom is flawed. He asked jurors to question whether they would trust Emma Bell, the fundraiser, Derrick Miller, a former top aide, or Karl Kado, a Cobo Center contractor who battled with memory lapses.

He particularly shredded Miller, who faces prison time for a bribery conviction tied to the investigation.

Thomas told jurors to consider what they’d do if Miller came to their door, alerted them to an accident involving a family member and offered to watch their home when they left.

“Would you hesitate, having heard him? Would you hesitate?” Thomas asked. Miller is “not a trustworthy guy, what’s in it for me. I’m out there for myself. Derrick Miller for Derrick Miller.

He called Kado “demented” and was derisive of Bell, whom claimed she kicked back 50 percent of all money she raised for Kilpatrick. Thomas suggested she never gave the former mayor a penny, instead hoarding the cash for frequent jaunts to area casinos.

After lunch, Bernard Kilkpatrick’s attorney, John Shea, will give his closing argument. Bobby Ferguson’s attorney, Gerald Evelyn, will present his argument Thursday morning. A federal prosecutor will then be allowed to offer a rebuttal.

 

James C. Thomas and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

James C. Thomas and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer ridiculed testimony from an alleged bagman who said he delivered $90,000 in kickbacks to the Detroit mayor.

Calling the testimony “magical,” lawyer James C. Thomas said there was no evidence Mahlon Clift flew into Detroit to get the money from Bobby Ferguson or flew to Chicago, Texas and Detroit to deliver the money.

“He magically came into Detroit and magically stayed at the Atheneum (Suite Hotel),” Thomas told jurors. “There is magically no record of him staying there. He testified he took it to the airport, although he doesn’t have a ticket to show us.

“He testified he traveled to Chicago and hid the money in a vacuum cleaner. He said he took $50,000 to Texas and $40,000 back to Detroit. If Bobby Ferguson wanted to give (Kilpatrick) money, he could have called Mr. Kilpatrick on the phone and say come over and get it. Or send him a text message telling him to come over and get it. But we don’t have a text or a phone conversation.

“We have Mahlon Clift’s testimony. And I suggest it is incredible.”

Thomas attacked the government for having an agent reenact going Clift through airport security with $90,000 strapped to his body.

Clift testified he had the money hidden in his shorts and pockets of his cargo pants.

The FBI agent who conducted the test, however, hid the money along his waist, Thomas told jurors.

“It looked like he was strapped with a bomb, or money around his waist,” Thomas said.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s attorney conceded that some spending by the former mayor’s charity were not defensible,  yet he said Kilpatrick paid back other expenses.
James C. Thomas said there were only three questionable expenses paid for by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund: yoga lessons, a golf practice session and anti-surveillance equipment.
“The defendable one,” Thomas said, was the so-called “spy equipment,” which he said is still used by the Detroit police. Earlier in the trial, a man who ran a spy store in Oakland County said he sold the equipment to Kilpatrick to detect listening devices.
Thomas’ concession comes after he had long-argued the yoga lessons were part of efforts to help City Hall employees.
Other expenses were reimbursed by the former mayor in April 2009, when he wrote a $13,027 check to the Civic Fund.
“What this shows that Mr. Kilpatrick became aware before the end of the tax year that … they should be paid back,” Thomas said.
Prosecutors have alleged that Kilpatrick tapped the civic fund for more than $150,000 in political and personal expenses that weren’t allowable under tax law. Thomas said little about the other expenses except to say they were allowable.

Carlita Kilpatrick and Kwame Kilpatrick.

Carlita Kilpatrick and Kwame Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick has remained impassive during his lawyer’s two-hour closing argument.

He has listened intently and appeared stoic throughout while defense lawyer James C. Thomas attacked the government’s case.

His wife Carlita, however, joked and smiled during an 11 a.m. break.

Her husband’s friend and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson sat next to Carlita Kilpatrick during the break. Both laughed and beamed big smiles while talking privately.

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

The government’s theory that Kwame Kilpatrick pocketed almost $841,000 in bribes and kickbacks is flawed, the former mayor’s lawyer said Tuesday.

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas tried to explain why Kilpatrick had that much money in cash beyond his mayoral salary.

Kilpatrick and his wife received large cash gifts, which were not taxable, and hoarded money before he became mayor in 2002, Thomas told jurors.

The money wasn’t bribes and kickbacks from contractor Bobby Ferguson and others, Thomas suggested.

Sharon McPhail

Sharon McPhail

“(Prosecutors) ignored the income he and his wife were generating before 2002,” Thomas told jurors during closing arguments. “It’s a flaw.”

Thomas pointed to testimony from former Detroit Councilwoman Sharon McPhail and former Kilpatrick appointee Kizzi Montgomery. They said city employees gave Kilpatrick cash gifts twice a year, on his birthday and at Christmas.

McPhail said she gave $1,000 to Kilpatrick.

There were 100 appointees, 20 directors and 10 cabinet members — all of whom gave Kilpatrick cash twice a year, Thomas said.

“When the government…tells you he owes taxes because of cash he was depositing into his account, the government completely ignored gifts,” Thomas said. “Completely ignored gifts. Completely ignored loans. You can’t ignore that.”

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick did not treat his nonprofit group like a personal piggy bank because other people approved personal expenses, his lawyer told jurors Tuesday.

“The Civic Fund was run by (Kilpatrick mistress) Christine Beatty, and Derrick Miller and others,” Thomas said.

Kilpatrick is charged with mail and wire fraud relating to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

That’s because the U.S. mail was used to pay for expenses such as resort trips out of state and solicitation letters were mailed and faxed to donors.

Thomas said the expenses, totaling almost $14,000, were a small percentage of the $1.7 million raised by the nonprofit group.

“For a person who didn’t take a salary, who…worked extremely hard but was not engaged in the acceptance or receipt of money,” Thomas said.

Jon Rutherford

Jon Rutherford

Kwame Kilpatrick took political money and suits from a former homeless shelter operator, the former mayor’s attorney said this morning, but no crime took place because Jon Rutherford didn’t expect anything in return.

Rutherford, who is headed to prison on tax charges related to the corruption investigation, poured money into Kilpatrick’s campaign coffers and also said he gave him $10,000 for a trip to the Middle East.

But James C. Thomas said Rutherford testified he didn’t expect the mayor to do anything for him.

“Where’s the crime?” Thomas asked.

Rutherford, however, did say he wanted the mayor’s help to facilitate a deal to put a casino on the riverfront. The casino never materialized and Thomas said Rutherford “had no chance of getting a casino license.”

In October, Rutherford said he gave more than $500,000 to Kilpatrick and his father in hopes of winning support for his casino proposal.

“Were you paying this for something in return?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked then.

“I guess,” Rutherford said. “I wanted something in the end … yup.”

 

Derrick Miller, left, outside federal court with lawyer Byron Pitts.

Derrick Miller, left, outside federal court with lawyer Byron Pitts.

Former Kwame Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller, the government’s star witness, repeatedly lied on the witness stand, a lawyer said Tuesday.

“He wanted to make sure I didn’t catch him in a lie, but we caught him in a lot of lies,” Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas told jurors.

Miller was the third government witness attacked by Thomas during closing arguments. He also tried to cast doubt on former Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado and Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell.

Miller struck a plea deal to testify against Kilpatrick.

Miller created phony records that were submitted to a federal grand jury and set up a shell corporation to hide payments from a corrupt pension fund deal, Thomas told jurors.

“You have the right to judge a man’s credibility,” Thomas said. “And judge what he’s done in the past.”

Asian Village

Asian Village

Miller is awaiting sentencing on tax and bribery charges.

Miller told jurors he delivered a $10,000 bribe to Kilpatrick inside the Asian Village bathroom — an allegation Thomas tried to shred.

It makes no sense that Miller collected the money from Asian Village owner Andrew Park and then called Kilpatrick in fall 2007 to come to the Detroit restaurant and pocket the cash, Thomas said.

“Come on, are you kidding me?” Thomas told jurors. “It doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t hold water, it didn’t happen. He’s the guy who can set other people up to take the fall.”

kadoKarl Kado was suffering from poor recall and may have been confused when he testified against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, attorney James C. Thomas said this morning.

Thomas said Kado, who said he gave Kilpatrick and his father thousands of dollars to keep or expand his contracts at Cobo Center, had told the government he was having trouble recalling events. Yet prosecutors still had him testify, Thomas said.

At one point in his testimony, he said he knew he paid a bribe because there was 8 inches of snow on the ground. Turns out that was in August, and Thomas said there hasn’t been 8 inches of snow on the ground in Michigan in August since the Ice Age.

“I know Karl Kado’s old but he’s not that old,” Thomas said. “This man is a confused person.”

From the time prosecutors first reached out to Kado in 2005 and told him he was under investigation until the trial, he met with prosecutors and agents 12 times and had 50 phone calls.

Thomas claimed the “sole reason” there were so many conversations was to “mold the testimony you heard.”

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas.

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas.

Emma Bell, the former Kwame Kilpatrick fundraiser, never gave the former mayor kickbacks and, instead, blew the cash gambling at Detroit casinos, according to attorney James C. Thomas.

Former Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell

Former Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell

Kilpatrick’s lawyer continued attacking Bell’s credibility and tears she shed on the witness stand last year while telling jurors she delivered kickbacks to the Detroit mayor stuffed in her bra.

“She could cry a tear and then freeze me into a block of ice with a stare,” Thomas told jurors. “She could bully people, sweet talk them and then beat them up. She is not a person that is credible.”

Kwame Kilpatrick's fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse Thursday after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse earlier in thetrial after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Three of the most high-profile witnesses in the case against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were “bought and paid for” and are not reliable, Kilpatrick’s attorney said this morning.

James C. Thomas told jurors that Emma Bell, the mayor’s former fundraiser, Derrick Miller, his former top aide, and Karl Kado, a Cobo Center contractor, all got in trouble and needed to offer testimony against Kilpatrick.

Bell testified that she had to kick back 50 percent of whatever she raised to Kilpatrick, making cash payments pulled from her bra to him during clandestine meetings.

Derrick Miller

Derrick Miller

But Thomas said she had substantial tax problems and turned on the mayor in hopes of cutting down on prison time. And, he said, she shed a “crocodile tear” on the witness stand, an attempt for sympathy.

He also attacked Miller, who pleaded guilty to tax and bribery charges, and Kado, who admitted paying Kilpatrick and others.

“These are witnesses who got in trouble on their own, totally independent of Kwame Kilpatrick,” he said.

They agreed to help the government, he said, out of the “hope of freedom and the hope they can trade their troubles for Mr. Kilpatrick.”

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer cited a “Saturday Night Live” skit to belittle the government’s interpretation of the former Detroit mayor’s text messages.

Lawyer Jim Thomas said prosecutors read too much into Kilpatrick’s texts with contractor Bobby Ferguson.

In some of the texts, which prosecutors said showed Kilpatrick and Ferguson schemed to steer city contracts, the former mayor merely texted the word “Cool!”

The word meant nothing, Thomas told jurors.

The lawyer then referred to former Saturday Night Live actor Rob Schneider and the famous skit about making copies.

“He could say dude 50 different ways,” Thomas said. “We don’t get the flavor of that with these text messages.”

A dead federal judge made a cameo in Kwame Kilpatrick’s closing argument, vouching for the former Detroit mayor’s work helping oversee the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

U.S. District Judge John Feikens

U.S. District Judge John Feikens

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas showed jurors a federal court filing from the late U.S. District Judge John Feikens praising Kilpatrick.

“If you have any questions about Mr. Kilpatrick’s administration…you’ve got to see what Judge Feikens said,” Thomas told jurors.

Feikens, who died in May 2011, had broad oversight of the water department.

In the earlier court filing, Feikens praised Kilpatrick for hiring Victor Mercado to run the water department. Mercado was charged alongside Kilpatrick but struck a plea deal with prosecutors last fall.

“Under Kilpatrick’s leadership, DWSD is now making steady progress toward long-term compliance and the end of this court’s oversight,” Feikens wrote in the court filing shown to jurors today.

The Detroit contractors who claimed former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick forced them to hire Bobby Ferguson out of fear of losing contracts weren’t victims at all, attorney James C. Thomas said.

Thomas said the top execs of Lakeshore Engineering, who told jurors how they felt Ferguson cost them $15 million in contracts, were wrong to complain after they saw their city work go from $8 million a year to more than $157 million during the Kilpatrick administration.

Avinash Rachmale received the 2009 Champion Award for Entrepreneurial Success from President Obama.

Avinash Rachmale received the 2009 Champion Award for Entrepreneurial Success from President Obama.

When Lakeshore lost two contracts in 2002, which the government claims was one of the initial acts of extortion as part of the so-called Kilpatrick Enterprise, they were “not qualified,” Thomas said, and Ferguson was. And he had lower costs.

Faced with such an equation, Thomas asked, “What would you do in the mayor’s position?” He called it “responsible government.”

But he pointed his most pointed comments at Avinash Rachmale and Thomas Hardiman of Lakeshore, which now is a multi-billion company with thousands of employees around the world.

“These are victims? They come in here 10 years after the fact and say they lost money,” Thomas said.

 

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer blasted the government’s theory that contractors paid kickbacks and bribes to the former Detroit mayor because they feared losing city contracts.

Defense lawyer Jim Thomas criticized the so-called “climate of fear” that allegedly existed during Kilpatrick’s tenure.

Soave

Soave

Thomas singled out Grosse Pointe Farms tycoon Tony Soave as someone so rich and powerful that he could not be extorted.

Soave testified he gave Kilpatrick and his associates free private jet flights worth almost $400,000.

Soave also said he took Kilpatrick and mistress Christine Beatty on a lavish New York City shopping spree and bought a $6,000 Cartier watch for the mayor’s father.

“A guy worth $2.5 billion comes in and says he had a fear of losing money,” Thomas told jurors. “One of the biggest contractors in the city. That just, well, doesn’t make sense to me.”

James C. Thomas admits that his client, Kwame Kilpatrick, could be found guilty of racketeering, but he said there were “higher intentions” to his actions.James Thomas

Thomas said the government has taken “otherwise innocent” actions — talking with friends, deciding to award a contract to a friend — and considered them criminal. But he said Kilpatrick’s intentions were higher and pointed to the work contractor Bobby Ferguson did.

“Bobby Ferguson works out there in the cold .. and digs up dirt,” Thomas said.

He employed people, many of them Detroiters, in contrast to some contractors who Thomas suggested were Detroit-based in name only.

One of those companies, DLZ, had its certification as a Detroit-based company pulled by Kilpatrick’s administration, a move that led to Ferguson getting in on two large water department contracts.

It’s an attempt to suggest that Kilpatrick was working to help people, even if they included Ferguson. Prosecutors have accused the two of conspiring to personally profit from $84 million in city contracts that Ferguson’s companies won during the former mayor’s tenure.

“There is a higher purpose than awarding a contract; there’s a higher purpose than just saving money,” Thomas said.

Carlita Kilpatrick

Carlita Kilpatrick

It might have been unethical for Kwame Kilpatrick to steer a $500,000 state grant to his wife’s group and one headed by Bobby Ferguson, but it wasn’t illegal, the former mayor’s lawyer said today.

“There was no crime here,” lawyer James C. Thomas said as Carlita Kilpatrick sat in the courtroom, supporting her husband.

Thomas launched his closing argument by addressing the use of a state arts grant awarded when Kilpatrick was a state lawmaker.

Prosecutors said the money was misspent. Carlita Kilpatrick paid herself $91,000 and Ferguson spent some of the money renovating his Detroit offices.

Lawyer James C. Thomas, left, with Kwame Kilpatrick.

Lawyer James C. Thomas, left, with Kwame Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick said a silent prayer today as jurors entered the courtroom to hear his lawyer deliver a closing argument in the City Hall corruption trial.

Kilpatrick was flanked by his wife, mother, sister and three sons, who made their first appearance during the trial. Defense lawyer James C. Thomas made a point of noting their appearance for jurors while starting his closing argument.

“My client wanted me to talk about all the good things he’s done in his office,” Thomas said at the start of his speech.

“It was remarkable that witnesses would come in to testify and when cross examination was done, it was a completely different story,” Thomas told jurors.

He bemoaned the media coverage, saying Kilpatrick has been demonized.

“My client came in with a lot of baggage,” Thomas said. “Kwame Kilpatrick is a human being. He’s a father, he’s a son, he’s a man.”

Thomas attacked the testimony of witnesses who called Kilpatrick a crook who pocketed payoffs.

“We have seen witnesses who were argumentative, witnesses who sometimes were pointing fingers,” Thomas said. “We’ve seen witnesses who didn’t answer the question and tried to spin it sideways. These are things you should look for to determine if that person was free and open.”

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick, wife Carlita and their three sons.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife, three children and mother arrived at federal court today to show support for the former Detroit mayor, their first appearance at the City Hall corruption trial.

Kilpatrick draped his arms around his twin sons while waiting to go through security at federal court in downtown Detroit.

He was flanked by his wife, Carlita (dressed in a zebra-pattern winter coat), sister Ayanna Kilpatrick Ferguson, and mother, former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.

The former Detroit mayor’s father Bernard, of course, has been at court everyday — as a defendant and member of Kilpatrick’s alleged criminal enterprise.

The show of force comes as Kilpatrick’s defense lawyer James C. Thomas is set to deliver a closing argument.

There were lots of smiles and hugs when the group arrived outside of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’s courtroom and saw Bernard Kilpatrick.

The family sat in the second row behind the defense table. Defendant Bobby Ferguson waved at Carlita Kilpatrick, who waved back at the Detroit contractor.

Kwame Kilpatrick was more interested in money than running Detroit, a federal prosecutor said as he asked a jury to convict Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard, and contractor Bobby Ferguson on all charges that could put them in prison for 20 years.

With a video screen showing stacks of cash found in Ferguson’s safe and a list of cash deposits into the former mayor’s bank accounts, Bullotta hammered home his point.

“(Kwame Kilpatrick) wanted money, he wanted power, he was not so much interested in responsibility. He was more interested in opportunity,” he said.

Bullotta’s closing argument lasted a little more htan 90 minutes as he labeled each man a key cog in a racketeering enterprise that took millions from city and suburban residents.

“Kilpatrick Incorporated was wrong, and it was criminal,” he said.

The most important member of the conspiracy was the mayor himself, Bullotta said. Without his control of City Hall, the three men would not have been able to steer contracts and extort businessmen.

“Ask yourself if Kwame Kilpatrick was not part of a conspiracy with Bobby Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick, could they ever have extorted a single person without the power of the mayor’s office?” Bullotta asked.

Defense attorneys will get their shot at the jury on Tuesday, with Kwame Kilpatrick’s and Bernard Kilpatrick’s attorneys making their cases. Ferguson’s lawyer will make his closing argument on Thursday.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court Monday.

Lawyer John Shea and Bernard Kilpatrick outside federal court Monday.

Prosecutors shifted their focus to Kwame Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, during closing arguments Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta reminded jurors that Bernard Kilpatrick allegedly pocketed payoffs from Synagro Technologies executive James Rosendall, who was pursuing a sludge-hauling deal with the city.

“Bernard Kilpatrick was no consultant,” Bullotta told jurors. “He was an extorter.”

Bullotta urged jurors to disregard defense claims that Bernard Kilpatrick was a legitimate consultant.

The prosecutor played an FBI wiretap of Bernard Kilpatrick leaving a voicemail message for Rosendall, an FBI informant who was on vacation in fall 2007.

“Yeah man, this is BK. Uh, I’d appreciate a call today, vacation or no motherf—– vacation,” Bernard Kilpatrick said on the wiretap.

The same day, Kilpatrick met with Rosendall in a parking lot.

The FBI was watching and recording the meeting.

Bullotta showed jurors a photo of the meeting.

Rosendall is carrying a box of Cristal champagne — a gift for the mayor’s dad.

He also allegedly gave him $3,000 hidden in a pack of gum.

But Bernard Kilpatrick wanted more, the prosecutor said.

He reminded jurors about another secretly recorded meeting during which Bernard Kilpatrick threatened to kill the Synagro deal unless he got more money.

“Would a consultant threaten to go to the mayor to blow up a deal?” Bullotta asked jurors. “Do you have to give him a half case of Cristal and $3,000 in chewing gum box to keep him happy.”

A federal prosecutor, after more than an hour of talking about Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson, has turned his attention to Bernard Kilpatrick, dismissing claims he was a legitimate consultant.

Bernard Kilpatrick and lawyer John Shea outside federal court.

Bernard Kilpatrick and lawyer John Shea outside federal court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said Bernard Kilpatrick, though not a city employee nor a elected official, was directing top city administrators how to deal with Karl Kado, a Cobo Center contractor who said he paid Bernard Kilpatrick thousands to secure city contracts.

Kilpatrick’s defense attorney, John Shea, has suggested Bernard Kilpatrick was a sloppy consultant who tapped his decades of knowledge of state and local politics.

After Kado got a letter from the FBI saying he was a target of an investigation, he went to Bernard Kilpatrick. When they met, Kilpatrick patted Kado down, looking for a listening device.

“Is that something your consultant normally does?” Bullotta asked.

As for consulting, Bullotta said Kado said he didn’t need one.

“Bernard Kilpatrick was no consultant, he was an extorter,” Bullotta said.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his father Bernard Kilpatrick walk toward the Gateway Deli for lunch during an afternoon break Sept. 18.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, walk toward the Gateway Deli for lunch during an afternoon break Sept. 18.

Kwame Kilpatrick allegedly forced his own friends to kickback cash.

The former Detroit mayor allegedly demanded money from his aide, Marc Andre Cunningham, who was forced to share commissions from a $30 million pension fund deal with the mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick.

“Why?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked jurors during closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial. “Bernard Kilpatrick didn’t do anything. Bernard Kilpatrick was not his consultant.”

Bullotta then repeated “no deal without me,” a text from the mayor’s pal Bobby Ferguson.

Derrick Miller

Derrick Miller

The text has become a mantra during closing arguments and a slogan for Kilpatrick’s criminal racket.

“‘No deal without me’ applied even to Kwame Kilpatrick’s closest friends,” the prosecutor said.

Kilpatrick also enlisted another close pal, Derrick Miller, to fetch kickbacks from Asian Village owner Andrew Park.

Miller delivered a $10,000 payoff to the Detroit mayor in fall 2007, the prosecutor reminded jurors.

Bobby Ferguson showed his power early in Kwame Kilpatrick’s tenure as mayor when he confronted a police officer who had written tickets against his business, a federal prosecutor said.
1023bobbyFergusonDuring closing arguments in Kilpatrick’s five-month public corruption trial, Michael Bullotta said Ferguson confronted Officer Michael Fountain in court.

Detroit Police Officer Michael Fountain

Detroit Police Officer Michael Fountain

Both were there, in February 2002, over tickets that Ferguson had broken city environmental laws.

When Ferguson met Fountain in the courthouse hallway, Ferguson was flanked by two Detroit police officers assigned to the mayor’s security detail.

“It would be in your best interests to dismiss these tickets. We know you live in the city and have kids,” Ferguson said, according to Fountain.

Bullotta said it was an example of the type of threat that Ferguson could issue — and one which other alleged victims of the so-called Kilpatrick Enterprise could be expected to shrink from.

In the end, Fountain dismissed the tickets. He first said he had insufficient evidence.

Bullotta said the real reason, though, was fear.

“He dismissed the tickets because he was scared,” Bullotta said.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

All it took to move construction contractor Johnson Akinwusi off the naughty list was to buy Kwame Kilpatrick some suits, a prosecutor told jurors Monday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta mentioned the suits while reminding jurors about the depths of the alleged criminal racket headed by Kilpatrick.

Akinwusi tried repeatedly to get city contracts after Kilpatrick became mayor in 2002. The work dried up until he complained to his tailor, Southfield haberdasher Larry Alebiosu, owner of Fashion International.

Alebiosu also made suits for Kilpatrick.

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

Kwame Kilpatrick (Cartoon by Henry Payne)

“Well, the mayor has some suits here, maybe you could pay for the suits on layaway,” the tailor told Akinwusi.

Akinwusi paid $4,800 for the suits — and his dry spell ended, the prosecutor said.

Soon after, an executive at one of Bobby Ferguson’s companies visited Akinwusi to talk about a $7 million project to build the new Heilman Recreation Center.

There was a demand.

Ferguson wanted 36 percent of the deal.

“If I didn’t pay Bobby, the job would not go,” Akinwusi testified.

A suburban sewer collapse in 2006 triggered another chapter in the Kilpatrick Enterprise, according a federal prosecutor.
The Sterling Heights disaster, which closed 15 Mile, needed a quick response.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said the response included a scheme to get millions to Ferguson.
“‘No deal without me’ kicked in again,” he said, referring to a snippet of a Ferguson text message that he said was a well-worn mantra.2013-0103-dc-kwame003T
A deal to get Inland Waters money to repair the collapse was held, Bullotta said, until Inland included Ferguson in that and other work.
“I am gonna hold the Amendment until they pay Bobby,” Kilpatrick allegedly told former mayoral aide Derrick Miller.
Ultimately, Inland met Ferguson’s demand and a multi-million dollar amendment to an Inland contract went through, with the mayor’s support.
It was, Bullotta said, “another extortion special by Kilpatrick Inc.”

Tony Soave

Tony Soave

Kwame Kilpatrick extorted Grosse Pointe Farms tycoon Tony Soave by holding up the contractor’s $50 million sewer deal, a federal prosecutor reminded jurors Monday.

Kilpatrick was holding up the deal after taking office in 2002, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said during closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial.

So Soave scheduled a meeting with Kilpatrick.

“(Soave) had employees that were waiting to start, he said he was going to lose millions of dollars,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta told jurors. “Detroiters were going to lose their jobs.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

“So he said to the mayor ‘what’s the holdup?’ And Mayor Kilpatrick didn’t say ‘what holdup?'”

Kilpatrick told Soave he had the wrong subcontractor, the prosecutor told jurors.

The mayor’s pal, Bobby Ferguson, was the right minority subcontractor, Kilpatrick allegedly told Soave.

So Soave dumped his minority subcontractor and hired Ferguson.

Soave’s contract moved forward after adding Ferguson.

Detroit water and sewer ratepayers paid $1.6 million more on two water department projects because former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick worked to get Bobby Ferguson’s companies work on both both projects.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said the massive projects were slated to go to teams that did not include Ferguson until the water department adopted a controversial evaluation method.
That change prompted one of the two contracts to include Ferguson.
Bullotta said that wasn’t enough: “They wanted both.”2012-1023-dc-ferguson008T
So the mayor, Bullotta said, ordered a city department to revoke the certification that allowed a company to receive extra credit for being based in Detroit.
A city administrator balked but was told by his boss, “The mayor wants it done.”
That revocation then brought both of Ferguson’s team into the money, even though each was not the low bidder.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the Federal Courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Bobby Ferguson walks towards the Federal Courthouse in Detroit on September 21, 2012.

Contractor Bobby Ferguson concocted “totally bogus” invoices to cover a $25,000 extortion payment from a Detroit company, a federal prosecutor said during closing arguments Monday.

Ferguson created an invoice after demanding cash from a contractor. The invoice was from Johnson Consulting, a company owned by his wife.

Except on the bogus invoice, the firm’s name was misspelled as “Johnson Consulants.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta showed jurors the “phony” invoice during closing arguments.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this document here — that’s literally the scene of the crime of the extortion,” Bullotta said.

An assistant U.S. attorney wove testimony and texts together this afternoon in an attempt to prove Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick worked together to steer contacts.

In 2002, in Kilpatrick’s first year as mayor, Lakeshore Engineering won a $10 million sewer contract. Thomas

Hardiman, a Lakeshore exec, told jurors that Ferguson showed up at his home and said he wanted 25 percent of the deal.

Hardiman, assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said, testified that he balked, telling Ferguson he already had a team ready to do the work and didn’t need Ferguson Enterprises.

“It’s still gotta go by the mayor’s desk,” Hardiman quoted Ferguson as saying.

Lakeshore then offered Ferguson 10 percent, and he refused, Bullotta said.

Then, he showed text messages from that time. First, Ferguson asks Kilpatrick: “You haven’t released that contract yet.”

Kilpatrick’s reply: “Right. They know I’m holding it.”

Ferguson: “I need you to hold it for a long time.”

“He not only held it, he canceled it,” Bullotta said.

The work then went to Inland Waters, which hired Ferguson. In future work, Lakeshore execs said they made sure to include Ferguson in order to get city contracts.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Kwame Kilpatrick left gestures to passers by as he and Ferguson leave federal court Aug. 8.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his alleged criminal racket targeted the Detroit Water and Sewerage department early on, a prosecutor said Monday.

The department had a $1 billion budget and Kilpatrick wanted a piece — a large piece, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said.

“How did Kilpatrick Inc. get a piece of the contracts?” Bullotta asked jurors.

He flashed a text message from Bobby Ferguson to the mayor.

“No deal without me,” the text read.

“And it worked,” Bullotta said. “Boy, did it work.”

Kilpatrick is projecting an air of boredom inside federal court while the prosecutor delivers a closing argument.

He is leaning back in his chair, resting his chin in his right hand.

In all, Ferguson landed crooked city deals totaling $83.8 million during Kilpatrick’s tenure.

“Bobby Ferguson was the $83.8 million man,” the prosecutor said.

Kwame Kilpatrick's fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse Thursday after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse earlier in the trial after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Emma Bell, Kwame Kilpatricks’s fundraiser, had to meet Kilpatrick solely to give him cash, an assistant U.S. Attorney said, as part of her deal to kick back a portion of the money she raised for him.
Bell, who considered Kilpatrick a son and whose testimony was among the most gripping during the trial, cashed a check on the same day she came to the former mayor’s office at City Hall to give him cash.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said Bell, who didn’t even drive, had to meet Kilpatrick in person because she had to hand him cash.
Bullotta showed text messages showing Bell meeting with the mayor on that day.

Kwame Kilpatrick, right, and lawyers outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick, right, and lawyers outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick had access to a “constant flow of cash” — $841,000 beyond his salary — thanks to bribes and kickbacks paid by flunkies and contractors, a prosecutor said Monday.

“It raises the question: where did it come from?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked jurors.

Then, he flashed photos of Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell, ex-Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado, former mayoral aide Derrick Miller and homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford.

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

All were forced to give cash kickbacks to Kilpatrick, the prosecutor said.

Next, jurors were shown a photo of contractor Bobby Ferguson, who the feds say received millions in contracts steered to him by the mayor.

“There is no mystery why Kwame Kilpatrick went above and beyond the call of duty, way out of his way to hold up contracts and cancel contracts,” Bullotta said. “Bobby Ferguson had to get on them. There’s a reason for that. Bobby Ferguson was sharing the spoils, the profits of Kilpatrick Inc.”

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick stole money from a $500,000 state grant, money that was steered to his wife and pal Bobby Ferguson, a prosecutor said Monday during closing arguments.

“The state arts grant money isn’t the only money Kwame Kilpatrick stole,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta told jurors.

He misspent more than $100,000 in money donated to his nonprofit group, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Kilpatrick treated the nonprofit group like a personal piggy bank, prosecutors alleged.

He bought a Cadillac, yoga lessons, golf clubs, paid for summer camp for his kids and took a luxury Colorado vacation with mistress Christine Beatty, the prosecutor reminded jurors.

Kilpatrick also illegally spent money on his mayoral campaign, the prosecutor said.

“Kwame Kilpatrick certainly knew better,” Bullotta said.

Bullotta played a video clip from a mayoral debate during which Kilpatrick said: “We didn’t use one penny, one penny from the Civic Fund in this campaign because it’s not allowed by law,” Kilpatrick said during the debate video.

“He was right,” Bullotta told jurors.

When the Civic Fund’s cash drooped, Ferguson contributed $75,000, Bullotta said.

Bobby Ferguson “made up” paperwork to cover up his use of thousands of state dollars to refurbish his offices, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said this afternoon.

Bringing up perhaps one of the most damning pieces of physical evidence, Bullotta showed two invoices side-by-side.

One showed how a company called Airtec was hired by Ferguson’s construction company to install doors. But the other invoice, which Ferguson sent to the state to support how his charity spent $250,000 from a state grant, said Airtec did the work for Detroit Three Dimensional Community Development Corp.

It was a lie, Bullotta said.

Ferguson sent it, he said, “to cover his tracks.”

Detroit 3-D then sent $100,000 to a nonprofit run by Carlita Kilpatrick, Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife.

Kwame Kilpatrick, then a leader in the state house, secured the grant, along with another for a nonprofit run by his church, which also hired his wife.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said Kwame Kilpatrick’s goal as mayor was personal to get money for himself.

Despite a $170,000 salary, a free mansion, free cars, bodyguards and staff, Bullotta said Kilpatrick “wanted to help himself more than the people he was elected to serve.”

Manoogian Mansion

Manoogian Mansion

“He took an oath to the citizens of Detroit, and he shattered that oath,” Bullotta said.

Michael Bullotta

Michael Bullotta

A federal prosecutor launched his closing argument by flashing a text message from contractor Bobby Ferguson to his pal, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

“No deal without me,” read the text message.

“That tells you almost everything you need to know about this case,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta told jurors. “If you wanted a city contract, you had to pay.”

“Our democracy depends on our elected officials representing us and our needs and not coming into office and turning it into a personal business,” Bullotta continued. “What Kwame Kilpatrick did in partnership with Bobby Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick is they turned the mayor’s office into Kilpatrick Incorporated, a private, profit machine.”

Kwame Kilpatrick, dressed in a brown suit and purple socks, listened intently, resting his chin on his left hand.

Kilpatrick’s alleged racketeering conspiracy was fueled by greed, the prosecutor said.

Kilpatrick wasn’t satisfied with free rent, free cars and a large team of bodyguards.

Bullotta reminded jurors that Kwame Kilpatrick spent almost $841,000 more than he earned as mayor.

“That’s just the money that hit his banks, the money that we found,” Bullotta said.

Michael Bullotta

Michael Bullotta

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta appeared loose at noon Monday as federal court buzzed with anticipation of the federal prosecutor delivering closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial.

Bullotta greeted several FBI agents in the hallway outside U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds’s courtroom on the eighth floor of federal court.

The agents wished him luck and Bullotta thanked them for their work on the years-long City Hall corruption probe, which has netted two dozen convictions, including former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers.

Bobby Ferguson, right, outside federal court Monday with a member of his legal team.

Bobby Ferguson, right, outside federal court Monday with a member of his legal team.

There is a larger crowd than usual watching the trial and in an overflow courtroom set up with a video feed. The gallery includes includes U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley, III and Bullotta’s sister and father.

Defendant Bobby Ferguson also appeared at ease returning from lunch Monday. He was spotted waiting in line to enter court, sucking on a toothpick.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick offered fashion tips on Twitter on the eve of closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial.

From left to right, Bobby Ferguson, Kwame Kilpatrick and attorney James Thomas listen as Judge Nancy Edmunds addresses the jury on Monday. (illustration by Ray Stanczak / The Detroit News)

From left to right, Bobby Ferguson, Kwame Kilpatrick and attorney James Thomas listen as Judge Nancy Edmunds addresses the jury on Monday. (illustration by Ray Stanczak / The Detroit News)

Jurors are not expected to start deliberating the fate of Kwame Kilpatrick & Co. until Thursday.

That’s because closing arguments in the City Hall corruption trial, meanwhile, are being staggered over three days, according to a newly released trial schedule.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta is expected to deliver his closing argument after lunch today. His argument is expected to last two-and-a-half hours.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer James C. Thomas is scheduled for Tuesday morning followed by Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea.

Bobby Ferguson’s lawyer Gerald Evelyn will deliver a closing argument Thursday followed by the government’s rebuttal and jury deliberations.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds thanked jurors Monday for sticking through a five-month trial and remaining attentive amid a high-profile, stressful case.

The judge’s comments came minutes before Edmunds started reviewing jury instructions in the City Hall corruption trial.

“You have been an extraordinary jury,” the judge said. “The fact that were we are in February, all of you started in September and we haven’t lost a day from any one of you calling in sick…or with logistical problems.

“You all have been so conscientious, so attentive through a very long time with some difficult weather and driving. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all the hard work you have put in. It’s just incredible when I tell people I still have 16 jurors and they haven’t missed a day. No one can even believe it.”

Early on, two jurors were excused from the case, including one who repeatedly fell asleep.

There are 12 jurors and four alternates.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta

Kwame Kilpatrick isn’t the only author involved in the City Hall corruption trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta, who published the fictional thriller “Hard Core” two years ago, will tackle the nonfiction variety today while delivering a closing argument in the City Hall corruption trial.

Bullotta published the mystery "Hard Core" in 2011.

Bullotta published the mystery “Hard Core” in 2011.

From Bullotta’s dust jacket:

After graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown Law Center in 1992, R. Michael Bullotta began his law career as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he was quickly assigned to the Hardcore Gang Division, an elite unit of prosecutors who handled exclusively gang-related homicides.

In 1997, he was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles by then Attorney General Janet Reno. As a federal prosecutor in L.A., he prosecuted domestic and international drug trafficking cartels. Currently, he lives in Michigan and works in the Detroit United States Attorney’s Office, where he prosecutes public corruption cases and writes screenplays.

We’ll see which author wins when the jury returns, but Kilpatrick has a huge lead in book rankings.

Kilpatrick’s book is ranked #367,526 on Amazon.

“Hard Core”: #2,337,837.

If it’s any consolation for the feds, Kilpatrick’s book is kaput.

 “I believe the publishing company to be out of business, and that the book is no longer being sold,” Kilpatrick wrote in an email to his parole agent last month.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Prosecutors dropped additional charges Friday on the eve of closing arguments in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office dropped one extortion charge against Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson and a separate extortion charge against the former Detroit mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick.

Prosecutors did not explain the moves, which leaves all three defendants facing racketeering conspiracy and other charges that carry penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

The moves come one day after prosecutors dismissed one count of filing a false tax return against Bernard Kilpatrick.

The extortion charge dismissed against Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson related to a sewer contract involving Inland Waters.

According to the indictment, Kilpatrick and Ferguson extorted more than $5 million in sewer work from the firm between 2006 and 2008. Executives at the firm feared they would suffer economically unless they shared the contract with Ferguson, a close friend of the mayor, according to prosecutors.

Separately, prosecutors dropped an extortion count against Bernard Kilpatrick related to a sewer-lining contract.

The political consultant allegedly helped hold up Inland Waters’ $50 million sewer-lining contract until the firm agreed to hire Ferguson. Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson are still charged with extortion relating to that contract.

UPDATE: U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade sent out the following statement after her office dropped several criminal charges in the case:

“We streamlined our proofs to shorten the trial, necessitating the dismissal of these few counts,” McQuade said.

Here is a breakdown of the remaining charges against each defendant and possible penalties:

0103kwameKwame Kilpatrick

1 count of racketeering conspiracy: 20 years in prison

8 counts of extortion: 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine

2 counts of bribery: 10 years in prison, $250,000 fine

13 counts of mail and wire fraud: 20 years, $250,000 fine

5 counts filing false tax returns: 3 years and $100,000 fine

1 count tax evasion: 5 years, $100,000 fine and the cost of the prosecution

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

1 count of racketeering conspiracy: 20 years in prison

1 counts of extortion: 20 years, $250,000 fine

2 counts filing false tax return: 3 years and $100,000 fine

Bobby Ferguson

1023bobbyFerguson1 count of racketeering conspiracy: 20 years in prison

8 counts of extortion: 20 years, $250,000 fine

2 counts of bribery: 10 years, $250,000 fine

Lawyer Susan Van Dusen, left, seen with Kwame Kilpatrick, center, and Bobby Ferguson at the federal courthouse in August. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Lawyer Susan Van Dusen, left, seen with Kwame Kilpatrick, center, and Bobby Ferguson at the federal courthouse in August. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick and pal Bobby Ferguson lost requests to be acquitted Friday on extortion charges.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds also shot down a request by Kilpatrick’s lawyer to be acquitted on mail and wire fraud charges. The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

James C. Thomas

James C. Thomas

The friends asked for a verdict of acquittal on five extortion charges.

“I am quite comfortable with submitting those counts to the jury,” Edmunds said during a hearing Friday in federal court.

Edmunds rejected a request by Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas to acquit the former Detroit mayor on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud. Those charges are related to the use of funds from the ex-mayor’s nonprofit group.

Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick used the mail to defraud donors by spending money on personal expenses, including resort trips, golf clubs, yoga lessons, spy equipment and summer camp for his kids.

Defense lawyers can raise the issue again if Kilpatrick and Ferguson are convicted by jurors.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Jurors will decide whether to convict Bernard Kilpatrick on a charge of filing a false tax return.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said there is enough circumstantial evidence to let jurors decide. Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea argued for an acquittal during a hearing Friday in federal court.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

“I will take it under advisement,” Edmunds said during a hearing in federal court Friday. “We’ll see what the jury does with it.”

Prosecutors, without explanation, disclosed they are moving to dismiss one count against Kilpatrick of filing a false tax return in 2007.

He also faces two counts of filing false tax returns in 2004 and 2005.

The tax counts, punishable by up to three years in prison, carry the lightest penalty among a slew of criminal charges against the father of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Like his son, Bernard Kilpatrick also is charged with racketeering conspiracy and extortion, 20-year felonies.

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick

Defense lawyers gave the public a rare, and long-awaited glimpse last night at some of the exhibits used during the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Several exhibits were filed publicly in federal court Thursday, including a graphic summary of the more than $531,000 in cash transactions made by Kilpatrick from 2002, when he became mayor, through 2008.

The feds believe the money represents kickbacks and bribes.

The exhibits have never been shown outside of court, until now. U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said the exhibits, including secretly recorded FBI videos and federal wiretaps won’t be released until after the trial.
Here’s the summary of Kilpatrick’s cash:

Summary of Kwame Kilpatrick's cash transactions.

Summary of Kwame Kilpatrick’s cash transactions.

Ferguson’s lawyers also filed a detailed spreadsheet listing $2.55 million worth of cash transactions made by the Detroit contractor during Kilpatrick’s time in office.

Ferguson allegedly received nearly $125 million in revenue from city construction contracts during Kilpatrick’s time in office.

 

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Federal prosecutors today said former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and pal Bobby Ferguson should not be acquitted of five extortion charges.

The government’s response, which you can see here, was filed ahead of a 10 a.m. hearing in federal court and countered requests for acquittal late Thursday.

Prosecutors suggested Ferguson was the source of more than $531,000 in cash transactions made by Kilpatrick from 2002, when he became mayor, through 2008.

Prosecutors failed to directly link any payments from Ferguson to the former Detroit mayor, Ferguson’s lawyers wrote late Thursday.

In their response, prosecutors disagreed:

“Any shared proceeds do not have to directly align, chronologically or otherwise, with the dates of the extorted City contracts. Rather, it is enough that there was a general understanding that in exchange for the extorted contracts, the vendors would benefit by virtue of Kwame Kilpatrick’s position as a public official.”

“The government presented specific evidence regarding the amount of money Bobby Ferguson generated from the contracts which he and Kwame Kilpatrick extorted, the amount of cash Bobby Ferguson withdrew, the amount of cash Bobby Ferguson kept in his offices and personal residence, the fact that Kwame Kilpatrick had over half a million dollars in unreported income and that he made payments in cash on his credit card and as deposits, and that Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson texted about the exchange of cash.”

Kwame Kilpatrick was mum leaving federal court Wednesday after declining to testify during the City Hall corruption trial.

After his defense lawyers rested their case, he tweeted to a supporter:

 

The alleged head of the so-called “Kilpatrick Enterprise” also “borrowed” a Detroit News photo in a separate tweet:

 

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

The question turned Bernard Kilpatrick sour.

“Why didn’t you testify?” a reporter asked Kilpatrick outside federal court Wednesday after his defense team rested without calling any witnesses.

The political “maestro” scowled.

“Did you hear any evidence?” he said after nearly five months of testimony from contractors and businessmen, including some who said they felt forced to hire Kwame Kilpatrick’s dad to win city deals.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson

Prosecutors also showed jurors secretly recorded FBI video of Bernard Kilpatrick pocketing a $2,500 alleged payoff.

Kilpatrick wasn’t alone in skipping the witness stand. His son and contractor Bobby Ferguson declined to testify.

Outside court, Bernard Kilpatrick expressed relief when asked about his confidence level while facing charges that could send him to prison for 20 years.

Bernard Kilpatrick said he felt confident.

“A whole lot better than I did on Day 1,” he told reporters. “I’m glad it’s here to tell you the truth.”

Michael Rataj

Michael Rataj

Then, he climbed into a red Ford Mustang and drove away from court.

Ferguson’s lawyer also expressed confidence when asked about his client’s brief defense.

“We’re confident we’ve done the job we were asked to do by our clients,” Michael Rataj said. “Now, it’s in the hands of the jury and God.”

The defense phase was spread over four days and featured testimony from a handful of witnesses. But defense lawyers spent considerable time cross-examining government witnesses since the trial started in September.

“I’ve been telling you all along that the case is in the cross examination,” Rataj told reporters outside the Penobscot Building. “Whether the witnesses held up, the jury will be the ultimate arbiter.”

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson.

Defense lawyers in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial rested Wednesday without calling the former Detroit mayor, his father or contractor Bobby Ferguson to the witness stand.

Kilpatrick called a handful of witnesses, contractor Bobby Ferguson a few, Bernard Kilpatrick none. But defense lawyers spent considerable time cross-examining almost 80 government witnesses during the trial, which started in September.

Jurors, who could send the men to prison for up to 20 years, could start deliberating the fate of the three man as early as Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

Closing arguments are set for Monday followed by jury deliberations.

Kilpatrick, dressed in a purple sweater and glasses, stood with his arms crossed against his chest and was asked by U.S.  District Judge Nancy Edmunds about whether he would testify.

“I am choosing not to,” Kilpatrick said.

He said he was aware of the consequences, risks and benefits of not testifying during the corruption trial.

Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick also told the judge he would not testify.

“Ladies and gentleman, all the testimony and exhibits have been submitted in this case,” Edmunds told jurors. “It’s been going on for a long time, you’ve been taking a lot of notes and been conscientious…”

The jury will be given instructions Monday before the start of closing arguments, the judge said.

Legal experts did not expect the defendants to testify.

Christine Beatty

Christine Beatty

“There’s too much danger,” said Peter Henning, a former federal prosecutor and Wayne State law professor.

The former mayor would have had to answer to his own criminal record and history of lying on the witness stand about his sexual relationship with former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty during a whistle-blower lawsuit.

“I can’t see him testifying,” Henning told The News last month. “The first questions will be: ‘How often do you lie? All of the time or some of the time?'”

Ferguson would have faced questions about his criminal record and pistol-whipping a former employee, and Bernard Kilpatrick would have been grilled about being caught on an FBI surveillance tape pocketing cash from a contractor, Henning said.

Prosecutors rested their City Hall corruption case against the three men Thursday in one of the largest public corruption cases in the last 30 years.

The corruption trial has been filled with testimony about Kilpatrick allegedly running a criminal racket inside City Hall, steering taxpayer-funded work to his pal Ferguson, pocketing payoffs and extorting businessmen.

Defense lawyers countered that Kilpatrick merely received cash gifts from friends and associates and did not extort anyone, cheat on his taxes or file phony returns.

Monica Conyers.

Monica Conyers.

The trial followed a years-long probe by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and Environmental Protection Agency.

During the probe, prosecutors have secured two dozen convictions against businessmen and city officials, including former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers.

The charges outlined in a 100-page indictment portray Kilpatrick’s public career as a 10-year criminal racket involving bribery, extortion, fraud and tax evasion.

The crimes were allegedly aided by insiders, including Kilpatrick childhood friend turned government witness Derrick Miller.

Bernard Kilpatrick

Bernard Kilpatrick

Jurors have heard a dark, behind-the-scenes narrative of Kilpatrick’s epic rise from the state Capitol in Lansing and crash four years ago amid a scandal involving sex, lies and text messages.

Kilpatrick is accused of heading a criminal enterprise involving Ferguson that robbed taxpayers of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick and the other defendants forced contractors working for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to hire Ferguson’s companies by threatening to cut them out of multimillion-dollar projects. According to prosecutors, the mayor’s father played a role as middleman and shared in the proceeds.

The FBI has raided Ferguson Enterprises Inc. several times and seized multiple pieces of equipment.

The FBI has raided Ferguson Enterprises Inc. several times and seized multiple pieces of equipment.

Bobby Ferguson spent almost $2.3 million buying and leasing heavy equipment from a Shelby Township business and convinced an executive to loan machinery used to clean up Detroit, according to testimony Wednesday.

Michigan CAT executive Robert Schneider testified for Ferguson about loaning equipment to the close pal of Kwame Kilpatrick for the Motor City Makeover.

“He asked to help clean up the city and, obviously, it was a worthy cause,” Schneider testified. “The city of Detroit is a customer of Michigan CAT, so we thought it would be a good thing to do.”

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson

According to campaign finance records, a Michigan CAT executive with the same name donated $250 to the campaign of Kilpatrick’s mom, former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in 2004.

Ferguson’s defense team is trying to fight allegations he is a violent crook who extorted businessmen and gave some of the money to Kilpatrick.

A second Ferguson defense witness, insurance agent Steve Zervos, testified about providing coverage to Ferguson’s company during Kilpatrick’s tenure.

The testimony suggested what might have happened to some of the nearly $125 million in city revenue Ferguson received from 2002 to 2008.

One of the contractor’s companies, Ferguson Enterprises Inc., spent almost $3.7 million on insurance premiums during Kilpatrick’s tenure.

A second Ferguson firm, Xcel Construction, spent more than $300,000 on insurance and bonds.

Schneider, meanwhile, testified about Ferguson buying and leasing equipment over the years. In all, Ferguson spent $2,294,684.

The FBI has seized a lot of that equipment — and about $4 million cash — during a years-long probe of Ferguson, alleged bid-rigging and City Hall corruption.

Here’s a list of Ferguson’s equipment seized by the feds:

Seizure Warrant 330BL Excavator, Serial Number 6DR03990

Seizure Warrant 345 BL Excavator, Serial Number 4SS01551

Ferguson Enterprises Inc. on Wyoming in Detroit.

Ferguson Enterprises Inc. on Wyoming in Detroit.

Seizure Warrant Allied Hydraulic Hammer, Model 797B (330), Serial Number 01818

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar 252 Skid Steer Loader, Model 252BC2SP, Serial Number SCP03254

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar 302.5 Mini Excavator, Id 2584-014, Model 302.5, Serial Number 4AZ02713

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar 314 Excavator, Model 314CLCRHQ, Serial Number PCA01039

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar 430 Backhoe Loader, ID 05-209, Model 430DC4XP, Serial Number BNK06632

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Backhoe Loader ID 02-083, Model 420DC4XE, Serial Number FDP05060

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar IT30 IT Wheel Loader, Model 930GIT, Serial Number TWR02784

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar IT30 IT Wheel Loader, Model 930GIT, Serial Number TWR02205

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc Skid Steer Loader, Id 2115-22, Model 226, Serial Number 5FZ00627

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc Skid Steer Loader, Model 216C, Serial Number 4NZ04400

Federal agents took 14 or so banker-sized boxes filled with items from Ferguson Enterprises in Thursday's raid. John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

Federal agents took 14 or so banker-sized boxes filled with items from Ferguson Enterprises in Thursday’s raid. John T. Greilick / The Detroit News

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc Track Excavator, Model 312CLC, Serial Number CBA00038

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc Track Excavator, Model 320CLH, Serial Number PAB03080

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc Track Excavator, Model 330CLCQG, Serial Number DKY00724

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc, Articulated Truck, Model D350EII, Serial Number 2XW00162

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Backhoe Loader, Model 420DC4XP, Serial Number FDP01987

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Large IT’S (IT38-IT62), Model IT38GII, Serial Number CSX00680

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Medium TTT, Model D5MLGP, Serial Number, 3CR01244

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Skid Steer Loader, Model 216, Serial Number 4NZ02280

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Skid Steer Loader, Model 226, Serial Number 5FZ01246

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc. Truck Excavator, Model 313BSR, Serial Number 9PR00381

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Inc., Articulated Truck, Model D350EII, Serial Number 2XW00157

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar Track Excavator Model 321CLCR, Serial Number MCF00496

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar, Inc. Skid Steer Loader, Id 03-404, Model 226, Serial Number 5FZ09844

Seizure Warrant Caterpillar, Inc. Skid Steer Loader, Id 03-516, Model 216C, Serial Number 4NZ04971

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds braced jurors Wednesday for the end of testimony in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

“Well, this is five months to the day after the first potential jurors stepped into the courtroom,” Edmunds told jurors. “Here we are and I believe this is, in fact, the last day of testimony in the case.”

The judge disclosed Kilpatrick’s tax expert is sick and won’t return to be cross-examined by federal prosecutors. Last week, tax expert Gary Leeman laughed and said “not even close,” when asked about whether yoga lessons were an allowable expense for the ex-mayor’s nonprofit group.

wame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor's sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner in the basement courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick and his wife, Carlita, share a laugh before the former Detroit mayor’s sentencing hearing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. Kilpatrick was sentenced to serve the full 120 days in jail as stipulated by his plea agreement by Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner in the basement courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick borrowed money from a relative to pay $500 restitution to the city last month, according to state prison officials.

Kilpatrick disclosed the arrangement after complaining to his parole agent about being broke, according to emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act and interviews with a prison official.

The emails, which you can read here, reveal Kilpatrick’s demeanor amid a state parole violation probe and show him angling for a break to travel home and see his family despite being placed on home confinement in Detroit.

The emails between Detroit’s former mayor and parole agent Charles Wright — dubbed C-Wright! by Kilpatrick — were exchanged last month amid a state probe into his finances, which concluded he was hiding cash gifts given by friends and a Chicago pastor.

Kilpatrick owes creditors $1.8 million and hasn’t been able to afford restitution payments on his own two months in a row. The likelihood of repayment — Kilpatrick owes the city $854,563 — could plummet if he is convicted of corruption charges that could send him to prison for 20 years.

Kilpatrick paid restitution in December after receiving $2,000 from Chicago Pastor Corey Brooks. The undisclosed gift, uncovered by Fox 2 News (WJBK-TV), led to parole violation charges and a weekend jail stint.

Kwame Kilpatrick tells parole agent he is broke.

Kwame Kilpatrick tells parole agent he is broke.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s former mistress Christine Beatty, a recurring figure during the City Hall corruption trial, dumped a ton of debt Monday in bankruptcy court.

A Georgia bankruptcy judge granted Beatty a discharge four months after the text-message scandal figure filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy — a story broken by The News.

Beatty listed almost $400,000 in debts.

Her lawyer said despite the bankruptcy, Beatty had made it a “high priority” to pay almost $85,000 in restitution to the city.

She agreed to pay $100,000 as part of a guilty plea stemming from lies she and Kilpatrick told under oath during a whistle-blower trial.

According to the Oct. 26 bankruptcy filing, Beatty buckled under the weight of $60,000 in delinquent federal taxes, $220,000 in mortgage debt, consumer bills and the restitution.

Beatty discharge

Beatty discharge

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

Jurors were sent home early from the City Hall corruption trial because several defense witnesses had medical issues or other complications and were unable to testify today.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds apologized to jurors before sending them home following a 45-minute private meeting with lawyers to discuss evidentiary and scheduling issues. The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday in federal court.

She reiterated that defense teams for Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and contractor Bobby Ferguson will rest Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected Monday followed by jury deliberations.

Legal experts do not expect Kilpatrick, or the others, to testify.

Monica Conyers.

Monica Conyers.

Former City Councilwoman Monica Conyers is living under home confinement in Detroit after being released from a halfway house, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Conyers, 48, was allowed to move home Jan. 25 to finish a 37-month sentence for bribery, prisons spokesman Ed Ross told The News. Conyers’ sentence is up May 16.

Kwame Kilpatrick is the biggest target in the years-long City Hall corruption probe, but Conyers is the biggest name convicted, so far.

It is common for federal inmates to finish sentences on home confinement. Conyers, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, is required to work or seek a job, Ross said.

She is forbidden from leaving home except for work, church or medical reasons.

Jurors heard a lot about gifts Monday and Kwame Kilpatrick’s love of gifts, cash and balls of money.

So what did the homebound Hizzoner tweet about Monday night before getting in a Twitter scrap?

Gifts.

Soon after, a “fan” reached out to Kilpatrick on Twitter.

Kilpatrick kept going.