Kilpatrick affair with Beatty not a crime, lawyer says

Kwame Kilpatrick lawyer James C. Thomas, left.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s affair with his Chief of Staff Christine Beatty was  not a crime, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Attorney James C. Thomas started his cross examination of an IRS agent by making clear for jurors that the corruption case is not about the affair.

IRS Special Agent Ron Sauer has testified about several trips and expenses, some of which included Beatty, paid for by the ex-mayor’s charity. In most examples shown in court Wednesday, Beatty signed the charity’s checks, which paid for the trips.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s mistress and former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty

Sauer talked about his probe, which focused on tax crimes and mail and wire fraud.

“This case is not about an affair Mr. Kilpatrick had with Christine Beatty, is it?” Thomas asked.

“Correct,” the agent said.

“He’s hurt a lot of people, his wife and family, but this case is not about that, correct?” Thomas asked.

“That is correct,” Sauer said.

One trip involved the ex-mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and contractor Bobby Ferguson flying to New Orleans, La., in early 2002. Both men are standing trial alongside the former mayor.

The charity booked the trip, and at least one other vacation, through Joan Anderson Travel Service, a Detroit firm.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer, John Shea, questioned the IRS agent about whether there is any proof the ex-mayor’s dad took the trip.

Under questioning, the agent said he was unable to find any evidence in Bernard Kilpatrick’s bank accounts that he stayed at a hotel or paid for meals or entertainment in New Orleans in early 2002.

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