McPhail refused to report to Kilpatrick mistress, calls star witness liar

Sharon McPhail

Sharon McPhail

Former Detroit Councilwoman Sharon McPhail set two conditions before agreeing to work for Kwame Kilpatrick in 2006.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

Christine Beatty outside federal court in downtown Detroit.

One, she refused to report to the Detroit mayor’s mistress.

“I said ‘I’m not reporting to Christine,” McPhail testified.

Kilpatrick started laughing in court.

“And I wanted to do things for people who work in Detroit and to make sure they had job opportunities,” McPhail added.

McPhail eventually became Kilpatrick’s general counsel until he resigned in 2008 amid the text-message scandal.

McPhail started recounted a nasty experience she had with former Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller, the government’s star witness — but was blocked.

The News reported on the experience last week.

“I threw him out of my office,” McPhail said. “He tried to extort me and I wasn’t going to have it. It was about a vote for the casinos. He said if I didn’t vote for it, he would go after me. I put him out.”

Kwame Kilpatrick's fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse Thursday after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse Thursday after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

On Monday, she shared her opinion of Miller.

“I didn’t trust him,” she testified Monday. “He didn’t tell the truth.”

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas asked about Kilpatrick’s fundraiser Emma Bell, who testified about delivering kickbacks to the mayor in a private suite on the 11th floor of City Hall.

McPhail said she saw Bell in the mayor’s office once.

“Was she a truthful person?” Thomas asked.

“No,” McPhail said.

McPhail backed up earlier defense testimony about staffers and appointees giving Kilpatrick cash gifts.

“Cabinet members, we gave $1,000 or more,” McPhail testified. “We kind of all put the money together in a big ball and gave it to him.”

“Who gathered the money?” Thomas asked.

“Christine Beatty,” McPhail said.

McPhail spent an hour on the witness stand but was not asked about calling Kilpatrick a thug or suggesting he had someone rig her electric chair massager to shock her.

Prosecutors passed on asking her any questions.

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