Kilpatrick lawyer gets combative with fed witness

Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyer James C. Thomas outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer tried to undercut testimony from a Cobo Center contractor who allegedly paid the former Detroit mayor, his father and mayoral aide Derrick Miller at least $360,000 in bribes to protect city contracts.

Attorney James C. Thomas questioned Karl Kado about his criminal record, skimming money from his various businesses and failing to pay federal taxes.

Kado is a key government witness who cooperated with the FBI and wore hidden recording devices during a City Hall corruption probe.

Kilpatrick’s lawyer suggested Kado cooperated with the government to minimize his tax crimes.

The cross-examination got off to a bad start.

Kado chuckled when Thomas asked if they had ever met before Tuesday.

“Did I say something funny?” Thomas asked.

“You are doing a job,” Kado said.

“Are you doing a job here today?” Thomas said. “Are you working for the government?”

“I am working for the truth,” Kado said.

“Your truth,” Thomas said.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds intervened.

“Mr. Thomas, come on,” she said.

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