Judge thumps Kilpatrick lawyer over alibi

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

The federal judge in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case blocked the ex-mayor’s lawyer from making a key argument.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds intervened as Kilpatrick’s lawyer suggested more than $8,600 in nonprofit group donations Kilpatrick spent on his family at a California resort was appropriate.

“What if he met with,” a donor to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund while on the trip, Thomas asked witness Michael Nairne.

“There is no evidence in the record that that occurred,” the judge said. She blocked Nairne from answering the question.

Nairne is a money manager whose firm gave $30,000 to the ex-mayor’s nonprofit group. He thought the money would be used to benefit the community.

Instead, prosecutors allege Kilpatrick spent the money on personal expenses, including expensive vacations.

Thomas suggested donations from Nairne’s firm were used to aid area charities such as the NAACP and churches.

“You don’t know personally whether or not Mr. Kilpatrick had used money for personal expenses?” Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas asked.

“No,” Nairne said.

“That’s what somebody told you, correct?” Thomas asked.

“I believe so,” Nairne said. “I was just told it was misused.”

Thomas asked if it would be appropriate to spend the donation on expenses, including buying vehicles.

No, Nairne said.

“Rent a car,” he said.

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