Kilpatrick dad patted down 'bribed' contractor for wire

Karl Kado demonstrates on Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta as to how he was frisked for a listening device by Bernard Kilpatrick at one of their meetings. (Illustration by Ray Stanczak / The Detroit News)

In summer 2005, Cobo Center contractor Karl Kado received a letter from the feds indicating he was a target of the City Hall corruption probe.

Kado called Kwame Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard, who received about $300,000 in bribes to safeguard Kado’s contracts at Cobo.

The two met at Kado’s office building along East Jefferson, where Kado leased office space to the mayor’s father.

Michael Bullotta

Bernard Kilpatrick, who allegedly shook down contractors for cash, greeted Kado by patting him down.

“What did you think when he did that?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.

“I knew right away,” Kado said. “I realized he was probably checking to see if I had some kind of (listening) device.”

Bernard Kilpatrick made an offer.

“He said he would give me a 10-year extension at Cobo if I did not work with the government,” Kado said.

“I said ‘keep everything for you,'” Kado testified. “I am out.”

Kado eventually cooperated with the FBI and prosecutors, wore listening devices and helped secure 10 convictions in the City Hall probe.

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