Kwame Kilpatrick’s spokesman Matt Allen testified Wednesday about a public records request filed by the ex-mayor’s nemesis, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) reporter Steve Wilson, in spring 2007.
Wilson wanted to know if Kilpatrick charged the city for expenses related to a stay at a California resort. Earlier testimony showed the Kilpatrick Civic Fund spent more than $8,600 for a trip to the La Costa Resort and Spa for Kilpatrick’s family in August 2006.
Allen looked into the request and learned the mayor’s city-issued credit card was used to book the room.
“I kept telling (Wilson) repeatedly that the mayor paid for his family,” Allen testified.
Prosecutors showed a clip of Allen talking to a Channel 7 reporter.
“For the family trip, the mayor paid for that trip,” Allen said on the clip.
Kilpatrick’s lawyer earlier said the trip was a mix of business and pleasure and that the mayor met with donors to his charity.
Prosecutors allege the $8,600 expense was an illegal expense for a charity that was supposed to benefit the community.
After watching the Channel 7 report, Allen was surprised to learn the Civic Fund paid for the stay.
“I felt like I had my pants down,” Allen testified.
He went to talk to Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.
“I said what’s the deal?” Allen testified.
Beatty and Kilpatrick were angry about the news report. Allen was later told the trip was for fundraising purposes.
Allen said he learned someone obtained a copy of the mayor’s resort stay by posing as Kilpatrick.
“I made the assumption it was Steve Wilson,” Allen testified.
Kilpatrick filed a police report in California over the disclosure of his bills, Allen testified.
To counter the negative publicity over the California trip, Allen suggested enlisting Civic Fund donors who met with Kilpatrick and holding a news conference.
“I said why not say here’s some high net-worth, powerful, credible people that met with you and gave you money for the Civic Fund,” Allen testified.
The idea went nowhere, Allen said.
“(Kilpatrick) didn’t like that idea,” Allen testified.