Kwame Kilpatrick’s defense lawyer James C. Thomas called politics a messy, tough business but denied his client turned City Hall into a criminal racket.
Speaking for almost 20 minutes, Thomas derided the government’s key witnesses Friday. Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, is an addicted gambler, the mayor’s friend and aide Derrick Miller is a greedy underling, the lawyer said.
Another key witness, former Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado, is cooperating with the government even though he is suffering from dementia, Thomas said.
“(Prosecutors) are asking you to buy what they are selling,” Thomas told jurors. “The scam is what the government’s going to perpetrate on you.”
Thomas said the former mayor was honest but involved in a messy business.
“Politics is like making sausage. It’s not pretty. It’s messy,” Thomas told jurors. “But once cooked, it tastes pretty good.
The judge called a brief break before jurors hear more opening statements from defense lawyers.