'Bribed businessman' gave Kilpatrick $10k cash in brown paper bag

Kwame Kilpatrick

Kwame Kilpatrick hit up a Cobo Center contractor for $10,000 shortly after being elected mayor of Detroit in 2001.

Prosecutors walked contractor Karl Kado through a chronology of bribes totaling at least $360,000 he paid to Kilpatrick, his father and mayoral aide Derrick Miller.

Kado allegedly had to pay the bribes to keep lucrative contracts at the downtown Detroit convention center. One of Kado’s janitorial contracts generated as much as $5 million a year.

Months after Kilpatrick was elected, Kwame Kilpatrick called Kado and made a blunt request.

Derrick Miller

“He said ‘Karl, we need $10,000,'” Kado told Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta.

Kado said Miller, the longtime Kilpatrick friend and star witness in the corruption case, picked up the money at Cobo Center.

The cash, mostly $100 and $50 bills, was stashed in a brown paper bag, Kado testified.

“Why did you give him $10,000 cash?” Bullotta asked.

“Because we had no choice,” Kado said.

“What do you mean?” the prosecutor asked.

“Our situation at Cobo, I have a contract and that contract is under the mercy of the Cobo director, which is under the mercy of the mayor,” Kado said.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at rsnell@detnews.com or (313) 222-2028.