8:12AM Audio turned on briefly and then shut off again. Getting an early start this morning as Judge Nancy Edmunds called for session to begin at 8:30AM in order to discuss some legal matters before the jurors arrive.
Looked like the only people in the courtroom were Susan Van Dusen, one of Bobby Ferguson's defense lawyers, and the court reporter.
Yesterday we finished the Kilpatrick Civic Fund chapter of the trial. We saw countless checks and hotel invoices, heard from yoga instructors, golf club salesman, surveillance equipment operator, investment managers, realtor, preschool director and federal agents.
Now we will be moving on to extortion and we should be hearing from many contractors. One of the witnesses we might also be hearing from shortly is Jon Rutherford, a homeless shelter owner, who is expected to testify about a trip for Bernard and Kwame Kilpatrick to Las Vegas. Rutherford was sentenced in January 2011 on tax charges for 21 months. He could get leniency for his testimony in this trial.
8:29AM And we're on. Victor Mercado is back! He and Bernard Kilpatrick are the only defendants seated at the table. Despite the fact there is only an empty seat between them, they don't even glance each other's way.
Here comes Bobby Ferguson in another natty velvety suit and poufy silk pocket handkerchief. He entered the courthouse wearing a newsboy hat. Quite the look.
Bobby is laughing away as he talks to Bernard.
8:38AM Still no Kwame and no prosecution. Not sure what happened to our early start.
8:48AM Kwame Kilpatrick rolls in with his lawyers Jim Thomas and Michael Naughton. Guess we can start now.
Kwame walks over to Bernard and starts gesticulating wildly with his hands as he talks to him.
8:51AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom.
Thomas is joking with the judge about the baseball game. She is a crazy Tigers fan.
Apparently US Attorney Michael Bullotta is with a witness elsewhere.
Judge says she saw the trial briefs from yesterday. Invites defense counsel to speak to "climate of fear" and "hearsay".
8:53AM Thomas says that Jon Rutherford won't be discussing what they had talked about.
8:54AM So we haven't quite finished with the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. The government has come up with one last out-of town witness they have dredged up.
8:56AM Jurors file in.
Judge informs their jurors about the surprise final witness.
8:57AM Michael Bullotta for the government. Max Berger is the witness. He is an attorney for security fraud cases. Work includes litigation for the Police and Fire pension funds and general retirement funds for Detroit. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is his firm. In NYC. approximately 60 employees.
Has worked with pension funds for at least 7 or 8 years if not longer.
In May 2006, solicited by Kilpatrick Civic Fund for a donation. Witness looks at document dated May 22nd 2006. It's the solicitation letter. third page is a letter from the firm and 4th page is check to KCF.
Exhibit KCF 90- a check for $10,000 from BLB & G (the law firm).
Berger part of the discussions whether to donate to the Civic Fund.
Witness says they were specifically told that the Civic Fun was for the benefit for the citizens of Detroit and to be used for civic and educational purposes.
June 22nd 2006- letter addressed to Ron Zajac. Enclosed please find contribution for $10,000. Check sent by FedEx.