Longtime Kwame Kilpatrick fundraiser Emma Bell testified Thursday she got tips on prospective fundraisers from indicted ex-Detroit Treasurer Jeff Beasley — who sat on the city’s Police and Fire pension fund — and Greektown mogul Jim Papas.
Bell said she sent one fundraising letter to Michael Nairne of a firm called Chicago Equity. The firm was a money manager for the police and fire fund and in 2010 was put on a watch list for performance reasons.
Papas, who hosted a fundraiser for Kilpatrick, was profiled in The Detroit News last week and Beasley is awaiting trial in a separate corruption scandal involving a city pension fund. From the Papas profile:
Beasley invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 477 times during a deposition last year. Some questions were about whether he received benefits from Papas.
According to a deposition transcript obtained by The News, among the questions Beasley was asked were:
“Isn’t it true you were staying at Jim Papas’ luxury condo down in South Beach at the time?”
“Isn’t it true that you had Super Bowl tickets from Mr. Papas and attended the Super Bowl?”
“Isn’t it true that at the time you did that, Mr. Papas had pension fund deals or deals pending with the pension fund?”
Beasley invoked the Fifth Amendment each time.
Papas owns The Atheneum Suite Hotel in Greektown, a favorite Kilpatrick haunt.
Bell received more than $900,000 from various Kilpatrick entities in exchange for raising money to fund his mayoral campaign and purported charity, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick treated the Civic Fund like his personal piggy bank, spending donations on yoga classes, golf clubs, summer camp for his kids, counter-surveillance and anti-bugging equipment and more.
Bell has alleged Kilpatrick demanded more than $286,000 in kickbacks from money raised by Bell. Bell split her commission checks with Kilpatrick, giving him cash whenever she received a check of $5,000 or more, prosecutors allege.