Detroit contractor paid Kilpatrick cash to get extorter off his back

Derrick Miller

A Cobo Center contractor said he paid bribes to Kwame Kilpatrick’s dad and told him to give some of the cash to the sister of Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller — who also was extorting him.

Contractor Karl Kado disclosed the unusual double-extortion allegation Tuesday while being cross-examined by Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer.

The allegation involving Miller’s sister LaDarla Easley caught Bernard Kilpatrick’s attorney off guard.

“You’re suggesting LaDarla Easley tried to extort you?” John Shea asked.

“Yes,” Kado said.

Bernard Kilpatrick

“And rather than pay her extortion money, you paid Bernard Kilpatrick extortion money to give to LaDarla?” Shea asked.

“Yes,” Kado said. “I said ‘listen, I will give you the money, get her out of the way.'”

Kado said he was forced to partner with Easley on a multimillion contract at Cobo Center. Miller originally was indicted in the City Hall corruption case but struck a plea deal with prosecutors and will testify later.

Kado, offering testimony that wasn’t drawn out by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta on Monday, said he was looking to get the electrical contract at the convention center when he learned that Miller’s sister also wanted the contract.

He claimed she tried to extort him but Shea said Kado told federal agents years ago that he he worked with Bernard Kilpatrick to take care of the matter, giving him money to give to her.

It’s unclear from the testimony whether the woman ever worked on the electrical contract at Cobo, where Kado had several contracts. He has admitted to bribing former Cobo Center director Lou Pavledes and others to keep those lucrative contracts.

Later, Kado admitted he didn’t have any records documenting alleged bribe payments made to Bernard Kilpatrick.

“You don’t have any records, do you?” Shea asked.

“No,” Kado said.

Kado later waffled on the amount of bribe money he paid Bernard Kilpatrick.

On Monday, Kado said he paid at least $250,000. Today, he said the number could be as low as $180,000 or as high as $300,000.

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