Kilpatrick shopped regularly at Southfield suit shop, paid in cash

Kwame Kilpatrick wore a suit from Southfield clothing store Fashion International to the 2002 inauguration.

Kwame Kilpatrick was a regular customer at the Southfield custom clothing store where a contractor says he spent $4,800 for the mayor’s suits before winning a $7 million city deal.

Kilpatrick always complained about having to pay for suits, shirts, belts, ties and shoes, said Southfield haberdasher Larry Alebiosu, owner of Fashion International.

“Always,” Alebiosu testified Monday after prosecutors called him to the witness stand to corroborate contractor Johnson Akinwusi’s earlier testimony. “He would say he doesn’t make a lot of money, that’s why he would pay me by writing checks, he would give me cash sometimes and put a little on a credit card. Everything was split up.”

Prosecutors allege Kilpatrick spent more than $61,000 on suits during his time as mayor and demanded $10,000 from a city contractor in May 2002 so he could buy suits during a trip to Dubai.

Alebiosu sold Kilpatrick the suit he wore to the 2002 inaugural but could not remember how many suits he sold the ex-mayor.

Alebiosu introduced Kilpatrick to Akinwusi at the Detroit contractor’s 2001 Christmas party.

Akinwusi, who supported Kilpatrick’s opponent Gil Hill in the 2002 election, testified Kilpatrick crashed the party and that he felt uncomfortable when the new Detroit mayor arrived.

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