Star witness a greedy thief, Kilpatrick lawyer suggests

Derrick Miller, left, outside federal court with lawyer Byron Pitts.

Derrick Miller, left, outside federal court with lawyer Byron Pitts.

Derrick Miller was a greedy thief who schemed to capitalize on a city-funded real estate deal, according to testimony Friday.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s lawyer questioned the government’s star witness about a real estate scheme involving Miller and independent contractor Tim Cook, who was working with the firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

Miller acknowledged the deal under direct examination Monday. According to prosecutors, Miller backed the deal and split $115,000 in kickbacks with Kilpatrick between 2003 and 2007.

“What was in it for you?” Thomas asked.

“Money,” Miller said.

Miller hedged at one point, disagreeing that Cook was a good friend.

“He was a good enough friend to sit around a bar with and scheme how to get money out of Jones Lang LaSalle,” Kilpatrick’s lawyer said.

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