Kilpatrick pocketed $10K bathroom payoff, pal says

photo of Kwame Kilpatrick heading for court

Kwame Kilpatrick

Star witness Derrick Miller described handing Kwame Kilpatrick $10,000 cash inside the Asian Village restaurant bathroom in fall 2007.

The money came from restaurant owner Andrew Park, who was seeking loans from city pension funds.

The allegation, one of the most colorful and unseemly in the 100-page indictment, served as the kicker to Miller’s three-day stint on the witness stand.

“Cool,” Kilpatrick allegedly said when Miller handed him an envelope stuffed with $100 bills.

Miller described the payment and being ordered by Kilpatrick to find money for him in 2007.

Andrew Park

Andrew Park

“Did he say specifically from whom?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked.

“He said get it from the Asian Village guys,” Miller testified. “I talked to Mr. Park about getting that for him, and he did.”

“How much?” the prosecutor asked.

“$10,000,” Miller said.

Kilpatrick looked stunned Thursday, leaning back in his chair at the defense table.

Miller said he called Kilpatrick, who came to the restaurant along the Detroit River.

Asian Village

Asian Village

“We went into the bathroom,” Miller said.

“Then what,” Chutkow asked.

“I gave him the money,” Miller said.

Derrick Miller said he also pocketed about $10,000 from Park while helping the businessman seek loans from a city pension fund.

Park was sentenced earlier this year to one year and a day in prison on a tax-evasion charge.

He had faced up to 30 months, but Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gardey recommended a 16-month sentence because of the substantial cooperation Park gave City Hall corruption investigators. Park was ordered to pay $301,988 in restitution and serve two years’ supervised release.

Park was sentenced on Halloween during an emotional hearing in federal court.

A solemn Park admitted paying a bribe to Miller in hopes of securing city business.

“Yes, I paid to play,” Park told U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan. “I am very remorseful. I made a horrible, horrible decision.”

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