Kilpatrick demanded free rooms at the Ritz from contractor

Kwame Kilpatrick

Grosse Pointe Farms businessman Tony Soave was on vacation at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Fla., when he got a call from Kwame Kilpatrick in April 2007.

The mayor was on the phone.

“He wanted to know if I could help get him some rooms,” Soave testified. He is the latest contractor to testify about allegedly being extorted by the mayor in order to keep and win city deals.

Soave was in the exercise room at the Ritz when the mayor called. He asked his personal trainer for help booking rooms.

The trainer helped.

Kilpatrick flew down with his family and stayed in two rooms, Soave testified.

The total bill: $9,300.

Soave picked up part of the tab.

And in 2004, when the Detroit Pistons were in the NBA finals, Kilpatrick wanted tickets, Soave said.

Soave paid a broker $10,000 for floor seats for the mayor.

“They were great seats,” Soave said.

“At some point, did he offer to reimburse you?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.

“No,” Soave said.

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