'Bribed' businessman gave Kilpatrick dad $300k

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

A bribed businessman said he gave as much as $300,000 to Kwame Kilpatrick’s father Bernard along with free office space downtown.

Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado said the payments — in $40,000 or $50,000 cash increments — started several months after Kilpatrick was elected in 2001.

Kado’s office building along E. Jefferson

The cash would change hands inside Cobo Center or inside Kado’s office building at 547 E. Jefferson, where Bernard Kilpatrick was given free office space.

Kado allegedly paid the bribes to protect lucrative deals at the downtown Detroit convention center.

“Why were you paying Bernard Kilpatrick?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.

“Because he’s’ the mayor’s father?” Kado said.

“Did you hire him as a consultant?” Bullotta asked.

“Consultant? I don’t need a consultant,” Kado said. “Consultant for what?”

“If you didn’t need a consultant, why were you paying him?” the prosecutor asked.

“Because he was the mayor’s father,” Kado said.

Bernard Kilpatrick briefly paid rent at Kado’s office building — then abruptly stopped paying $1,200 a month rent.

“Did you evict him?” Bullotta asked

“How can I evict him?” Kado said. “He’s the mayor’s father.”

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