Kilpatrick on Trial: Derrick Miller takes the stand
Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick's dad Bernard Kilpatrick and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. Each day we bring you information from inside federal court as it happens.
It's day 49 in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse. Last Friday, defendant Bobby Ferguson's lawyer Gerald Evelyn filed a motion in this courthouse to delay and reschedule the retrial of his bid-rigging case. Currently, the retrial is scheduled for April 2nd. Evelyn asked Judge David Lawson to adjourn that date, however, because this current trial is taking longer than anticipated and it would be difficult to get an unbiased jury so soon after the constant media barrage on this case.
9:01AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the court room. Ferguson's other lawyer Susan Van Dusen is back in the courtroom, greeting everyone with kisses on the cheeks.
Mark Chutkow for the government will question the new witness.
Judge explaining that FBI agent Bob Beeckman will not continue testimony because we will be hearing from Derrick "Zeke" Miller.
Chutkow says he gave exhibit list to defense team on Miller over the weekend.
9:06AM Derrick Miller was Chief Administrative officer for the city of Detroit. Was an adviser to Mayor Kilpatrick who he reported to. Was part of the cabinet of the city. In early 2006 changed jobs to Chief Information Officer until October 2007 when he left city government. Was in charge of network infrastructure as Chief Information officer. Started Cityvest Capital Partners after he left government, consulted and did investments in small companies.
Who is Derrick Miller?
Miller went to Cass Tech where he met Kilpatrick. Met in 9th grade English class and played basketball together. Christine Beatty was also at Cass Tech with them. He then went to Jackson State where he had a baseball scholarship with a degree in biology. Came back to Detroit where he worked for Detroit public schools and real estate.
Then worked for Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Kwame Kilpatrick's mother. She was a U.S. congresswoman at the time. He worked for her for 4 years from 1997 to late 2000.
Miller attended Kwame's wedding and Kwame was best man at Miller's wedding.
Miller and Kwame discussed Kwame taking Cheeks Kilpatrick's seat in the state house. Talked with Kwame's family and Beatty about his running for state representative. Miller was going to be volunteer coordinator getting people to work on the campaign.
In 2001, Miller became deputy Chief of Staff for Kilpatrick. Alan Canady was Chief of Staff at the time.
Kilpatrick and Miller traveled the state together drumming up support for Kilpatrick.
Application for state arts grant, a cultural arts grant for a couple of non profits doing community work. Looking at a fax to Kelly Bartlett. It's an application for 3D to get funding for cultural grants. Bartlett worked for the State Budget Office. From the desk of Sharron Solomon who worked for state representative Kilpatrick. Understood that the application was for youths and homeless. Miller also discussing Vanguard which was run by Donna Williams- Miller mentions that Carlita ended up working with one of the non-profits.
Miller says that Marilyn Johnson, Ferguson's wife, ran 3D. The witness says that Kilpatrick asked him to meet with Bartlett about the funding to see what the hold-up was. Miller says Kilpatrick was "miffed" about the hold up.
9:20AM Bartlett said that Vanguard had made mention of Carlita Kilpatrick in one of their submittals. He was concerned about her involvement.
Miller met with Bartlett at the State Budget Office about the non-allocation of funds. Bartlett told him that the proper documentation for the remaining funds had not been submitted.
Miller let representative Kilpatrick the outcome of the meeting.
Kwame looking very serious and listening closely to Miller's testimony.
Kilpatrick's reaction to the meeting with Bartlett was to try to get the information from "Cookie", Marilyn Johnson, to provide to the State Budget Office.
Miller said he spoke to Johnson and possibly Ferguson about putting the documentation together. Miller saw some of the documentation and it was not in the format that Bartlett from the SBO had requested. Miller told Johnson it was inadequate and that they needed better documentation. She agreed. Miller told Ferguson the same. Ferguson mentioned that a building had been purchased for runaway teens for 3D. Miller said they planned to use remaining funds to update the facility. Miller saw some invoices for purchase of the property.
Miller got the sense that the paperwork didn't exist and had to be put together. Never saw the building that was meant to house the runaways.
Looking at a picture of a residential property on Meyers St.
Kilpatrick concerned Ferguson and Johnson didn't have proper documentation but also felt they were being picked on.
Looking at Ferguson Enterprises offices on Wyoming. Miller visited the offices "plenty" of times. Miller said he never saw anything in there that suggested vocational training of your people or any classroom structures.
Ferguson whispering to his lawyer Evelyn as he takes notes.
Miller became involved in mayoral campaign for Kilpatrick in 2001 with Conrad Mallett, former chief justice of the Supreme Court and Kilpatrick political ally, Bernard Kilpatrick, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Art Blackwell, Ayanna Kilpatrick, Christine Beatty, Bob Berg amongst others. Basically along with the main Kilpatrick leadership team.
Miller also involved in re-election campaign in 2005. Campaign headquarters at that time was at East Grand Blvd in the Lakeshore Engineering building.
Miller said he never observed campaign cheques coming back to the campaign headquarters.
9:35AM Looking at Overview of Survey Findings for Kwame Kilpatrick for Mayor of Detroit from Lake, Snell,Perry & Associates, a polling company. Miller said they were trying to identify Kilpatrick's strengths and weaknesses for becoming mayor.
Miller says that Lake, Snell & Perry did research and polling in May 2001. Made calls to constituents. Miller said purpose of gathering information was to determine the strength of Kilpatrick's position at becoming mayor. Not meant to be shared with community as a whole but within the mayoral leadership team.
Based on the findings, there was a decision made to run for mayor and what the platform would be.
Earlier in trial, we heard that the services of this polling company were paid with funds from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Looking at invoice from polling company to Bob Berg.
Cheque for $13,158 on April 28th 2001 to Lake, Snell, Perry. Memo says polling. Cheque is from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. signed by Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick.
Looking at polling questions script from May 2001.
Another invoice from Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates billed to Kilpatrick for Mayor on July 17th 2001 for $18,750.
Attached is a cheque from KCF on July 30 2001 for $14,000.
Looking at Focus Group Guide from August 2nd 2001. In July/August 2001, the Kilpatrick campaign was preparing for the primaries. Kilpatrick won the primary polls.
Miller says they did not share the results of focus groups with opponents. Says it was meant for internal use, meant to be the platform for Kilpatrick's campaign.
Chutkow asking Miller how he knows Jon Rutherford. Says he knows him from campaign and from Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick. Looking at cheque from DPR Management, Rutherford's company.
Defense asks for sidebar. Nothing major to this point, prosecution just linking the dots from earlier trial testimony.
Back to cheque from DPR from September 19th 2000. Made out to the 21st Century Fund, a fund for candidates running for office in the state of Michigan. It was a PAC, Political Action Committee, to get to candidates from either party. Cheque was for $50,000.
9:50AM Miller said he traveled with Kilpatrick to drum up support for votes. Miller reemphasizes 21st Century Fund for candidates running for office. Miller says Kilpatrick made the decisions on how the fund was distributed.
Kilpatrick disagreeing with this, shaking his head madly.
Juror needs to go to the restroom so we're taking a 5 minute break.
9:56AM Miller says that Rutherfoed was a big political contributor. Looking at another cheque from DPR Management signed by Judy Bugarski, Rutherford's assistant. For $34,000 to Next Generation Detroit, a PAC affiliated with Kilpatrick. From June 6th 2001. Miller says $34,000 was legal limit to donation amount to a PAC.
Looking at cheque for $20,000 from Rutherford Associates on April 25th 2001 to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. The address on cheque is from homeless shelter that Rutherford ran. Miller says he can't really characterize Rutherford's business other than it was a homeless shelter.
Another cheque (forgive the spelling I'm a Canadian!) from DPR Management for $30,000 on July 2nd 2001 to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Another defense sidebar.
Miller says Rutherford's contributions to the Civic Fund caused a media stir about the Kilpatrick campaign accepting funds from the homeless shelter. Looking at Free Press article "Kilpatrick Took Donation, Now Questions Propriety" from August 29th 2001. This article set off a media firestorm that Rutherford claims ultimately cost him massive irreparable losses and damages to his business.
Miller says they had meeting to respond to article- Mallett, Beatty, Bob Berg, Bernard and Ayanna, the leadership team mentioned, were all there. Miller says the strategy was to say they didn't accept money from the homeless shelter but that the donation was from a private enterprise.
Miller says they knew they did not have to disclose their donor list. They learned that from Kilpatrick.
Miller knew that the Kilpatrick Civic Fund was a 501c4 that could accept limitless funds. Kilpatrick explained it could not be used for candidate-specific activity.
Miller says they decided to say that no money from Civic Fund was being used for mayoral campaign. Witness says the conversation was there was no need to disclose donors or purpose of funds.
10:10AM Miller says he, Mallett, Berg, Beatty and Blackwell helped prepare Kilpatrick for his televised debate against Gil Hill.
Playing the video of the televised debate. "We haven't used one penny, not one penny of the Civic Fund in this campaign because it's not allowed by law." Kilpatrick made the statement in the debate that was put together collectively by the leadership team. Miller says that statement of not one penny being used in the campaign was not true.
Civic Fund was for community activity, ballot initiative participation, grass-roots organizing, non-profit related work essentially.
Looking at the Articles of Incorporation for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund- #4 the corporation shall not participate in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for political office (paraphrasing the article).
Looking at a check from Kilpatrick Civic Fund dated October 19th 2005 for $26,000 to Peter D. Hart Research Associates. Signed by Christine Beatty and Derrick Miller. Miller can't remember when he became a signatory for the Civic Fund.
Peter Hart Research Associates is another polling company. In this case it was polling for the re-election campaign. Miller part of the re-election campaign group.
Miller says they changed from Lake, Perry, Snell because this was a different kind of race and they needed a more aggressive company to be responsive to the re-election campaign issues.
The Peter Hart research was not widely disseminated to the public- it was for the Kilpatrick campaign group.
Christine Beatty was managing checkbook for the Civic Fund at this point. Miller says he was the second signatory so he would sometimes pre-sign checks.
Looking at check from Kilpatrick Civic Fund from June 28th 2006 for $8605.03 to the LaCosta Resort and Spa. Signed by Beatty and Miller. Miller says he thinks this check was blank when he sign it.
Witness says this check became a concern when a reporter uncovered some information pertaining to the LaCosta stay. Matt Allen, Bob Berg, Christine Beatty, Jermaine Dickens, Miller and Kilpatrick all met to discuss the controversy. They discussed how the reporter got his hands on the check and how they would respond to it after he made it public. Miller says Kilpatrick said he was on a fund-raising trip for the Civic Fund.
Miller says Kilpatrick told him that he took his family to LaCosta. Kilpatrick did not tell him he did fund-raising activities out there.
"Basically we had to come up with a story as to why this check was used for the spa," says Miller.
Looking at September 14th 2006 Kilpatrick Civic Fund check for $3,050 to Tom Deaton's Driving Ranges Inc. Miller says he pre-signed this check. Miller not aware that the former mayor purchased golf clubs for himself.
Another check from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund from December 26th 2002 for $1500 to the Center for Yoga. signed by Beatty, Miller and Kilpatrick.
Miller says he went to yoga classes with the mayor at Cobo. EPU members, Lorenzo Jones were also at the classes. Miller says to his knowledge the classes were not open to the public.
Chutkow brings up Emma Bell.
"If we're going to bring up Emma Bell, let's take a break," says Judge Edmunds.
10:29AM 20 minute break.
10:52AM Court back in session. A very somber Kwame is talking quietly to his lawyer Jim Thomas. Bobby Ferguson, on the other hand, is laughing with his handler guy.
Kwame never made it to the first floor snack shop today, guess he didn't much feel like socializing this morning.
Chutkow continues his questioning of Miller.
Looking at check #1489 from the KCF to the Center for Yoga, for October through December. Looking at another check, #1490 to the Center for Yoga from December 26th 2002 for $1500. For December through February.
Miller saying that Emma Bell was a campaign fund-raiser for Kilpatrick. Says she got a commission, about 10%, for her fund-raising efforts. Got that information from Christine Beatty.
Looking at pictures of the mayoral offices. Discussing the mayor's office and the "barber room". Apparently, there is a bathroom and shower in there.
Another picture of interior of the "barber room". And now looking at a picture of the actual "barber chair". Miller says the "barber room" was for less formal discussions. Witness never used it on his own. Saw Emma Bell go in there when door was open and door was shut. Miller says she would meet the mayor in there.
Going back to Jon Rutherford, in the period after Kilpatrick became mayor. Miller confirms that Rutherford and Bernard Kilpatrick had a business relationship. Rutherford was a client of Bernard's.
Text message from Bernard Kilpatrick to Derrick Miller on April 23rd 2002
Bernard: I have a 10:00 breakfast with my client, Jon Rutherford who says you won't call him back... Which is cool 'cause he should go thru me. I would appreciate a call about 10:30... Thanx.
Miller confirms the message was from Bernard. Miller understood that the had a relationship where Bernard consulted for Rutherford. Rutherford would make meetings with Miller through Bernard. At some point that changed, Miller became more familiar with Rutherford so he would just call him directly.
Bernard took on role with Wayne County Mental Health Board.
Miller says he met with Rutherford when Kilpatrick took office- "as needed" basis. Once a month, once every couple of months. While Kilpatrick was in office, Miller met Rutherford about 35 times. About 10 times where Kilpatrick was also present at the meetings.
Text exchange on January 19th 2004
Miller: Okay I am all the way there. No matter what, port authority is the way to go. You are on the right track. Rod Gillum has to come off first.
Kwame: You like that s*i* Steelman had?
(Steelman was the architect hired by Rutherford for renderings of waterfront casino.)
Miller: Not exactly but Port Authority can do whatever you need done.
(Detroit Wayne County Port Authority is agency designed to do port activities. They could sell bonds to finance anything along the riverfront. Miller says there were lots of discussions in 2004 on how to finance projects and find bonding.)
Mayor: Right let's talk about a plan.
Miller says there was talk about either getting licensing for a fourth casino or buying out the Greektown casino which was struggling. Had these discussions with Kilpatrick and Rutherford. Miller says getting Greektown's license was prohibitive, just didn't make financial sense.
Miller says he never reached out with Greektown representatives on Rutherford's behalf but did reach out to them to feel them out about the license sale.
11:15AM Text between on May 14th 2002 between Bernard and Kwame.
Bernard: Call Khari Moshesh (Tony Ward)...
Kwame: I'll call in 30 mins...
Bernard: Good! are you still trying to go to Vegas this weekend. Steelman and Jon Rutherford would like to talk to you. I could hook you up at Green Valley Resort...
Miller says that Kilpatrick liked the Rutherford casino project as long as it included a convention center.
Miller says Kilpatrick told him he did go to Las Vegas to the Green Valley Resort.
More text on December 30 2004
Bernard: Just talked to Jon Rutherford. Venetian wants to come in on 17th to discuss riverfront piece complete with convention facility. I will work with Iris on Monday. Extra tax on-slots sounds like the financing mechanism to pay off the bonds.
All these texts were introduced earlier in the trial with regards to Rutherford's desire to set up a riverfront casino. The Venetian is run by Adelson, who runs the gaming empire.
More text on January 12th 2005 from Lisa Nocerina, Miller administrative assistant, to miller
Nocerini: Boss guy from venetian wants to do quick dinner Monday night. Is that cool?
Text from February 1st 2005 between Miller and Kwame.
Miller: Denise is setting up Venetiam tomorrow. Do you still need the 18th?
Denise was assistant at one point to both Kilpatrick and Kwame. Rutherford was present at these meetings.
Miller says Rutherford casino plans never came to fruition because of the lack of license procurement.
Now on to Karl Kado. Miller says he was a Cobo Hall contractor in Detroit. Had electrical and cleaning contracts. Cobo director, Lou Pavledes, then Blanton and then Tom Tuskie, would report to Miller. As Chief Administrative Officer, his responsibility was to oversee Cobo Hall.
Miller says he first met Kado during the 2001 mayoral campaign. Kado was a supporter of the campaign. Miller says he picked up $10,000 in cash from Kado in 2001. Miller says he was told by Kilpatrick to pick up the money for the campaign. Miller says he was told by Kilpatrick it was going to be $10,000. Miller says his understanding was that they couldn't take cash for the campaign, had to be a check or money order. Did not get a receipt from Kado.
Miller believes he met Kado at Cobo. then he took cash back to the campaign, either gave it to Kwame or Beatty. Saw the denominations of the cash were in hundreds.
Says Kado gave him more cash. Gave Miller personally cash. Says that Kado was constantly offering cash and he accepted a couple of times. Got it at Cobo, gave him $10,000 again in hundreds. At the time, Miller was in a supervisory role at Cobo. Miller says he knew it wasn't right but took it anyways. It occurred twice, second time also for $20,000.
Miller says he did not share that cash with anyone else.
Took cash from Kado for other people too, including Kilpatrick. Picked it up from Kado when he was told by Kilpatrick.
Miller says he was told to go pick up the package at Cobo from Kado. Went to Kado's office and he would hand Miller the money. Miller says he didn't count it "but it was alot of money. Five to 10 thousand." It was in cash, in denominations of hundreds. Can't remember if it was in an envelope or bag. Says he did this for the mayor from Kado once or twice. Would give it to Kilpatrick in the office or the barber room. Miller says he didn't take any of that cash for himself.
Miller says he was wrong to take cash from a contractor whose work he supervised. Miller agrees that as mayor of the city Kilpatrick also had a supervisory role over Cobo. Implication being that Kilpatrick also wrong to take cash from Kado.
11:30AM Text from April 17th 2002 between Miller and Bernard.
Bernard: Last thing for today you have to call Lou and give ok for Karlo to deal with the electrical contract in June.
Miller says that in his opinion Kado was not great with the electrical contract. He always had lots of complaints from auto dealers and others who exhibited at Cobo about the rates. The Auto Dealers Association would complain about the rates. The auto dealers would threaten to go elsewhere- Rock Financial or Novi. They were upset with service from the elcetrical contract and did not like rates charged by Kado for power at Cobo.
Miller relayed these complaints to Kilpatrick. Told Miller to deal with them, keep the rates down and to look further into the problem. Miller says early on he did not make any recommendations about Kado to mayor. Mayor never expressed any desire to move Kado out because of the complaints.
Bernard, Kado's consultant, would say that Kado was one of his best clients. Miller says Bernard was aware of the auto dealer complaints about Kado. Bernard said to him that he would talk to Kado but that the auto dealers were possibly being over the top.
Miller says he talked to Kilpatrick about Kado in 2007. Talked about moving him out of Cobo and rebidding the contract. Corrects himself and says it was more like 2006.
Miller says Kilpatrick told him in 2007 to be careful with Kado that he heard he was talking to the feds and that he (Kado) might be wearing a wire. Miller says this conversation took place at city hall. Miller says they had already decided to rebid the contract.
Miller doesn't recall having conversation with Bernard about Kado wearing a wire.
Talking about Jones, Laing, Lasalle- the largest real estate firm in the world according to Miller. Says that the finance department decided that the city needed help to re-negotiate leases. These discussions came up in cabinet meetings. A front-runner for the job was Staubach, a company from Texas.
Mark Talley, a real estate agent Jones, Laing, Lasalle, and Tim Cook, a real estate broker in Detroit who Miller knew personally, were interested in the job. Cook was Miller's neighbor who worked on his mortgage. Talley and Cook approached Miller about the opportunity early on and said they were uniquely qualified to help the city. they were aware that Miller had a real estate license and were offering to split whatever commissions should come in three ways.
11:45AM At one point, Miller verbally consented to agreement with Talley and Cook. Miller set up meeting between Sean Werdlow of the city finance department and Jones, Laing, Lasalle.
Miller told Kilpatrick of his interest in Jones, Laing, Lasalle. Kilpatrick said he would look into the situation. Werdlow had been leaning towards Staubach. Miller did not offer mayor compensation to support him and Jones, Laing, Lasalle. Miller says he told the mayor "this could be good for us. Financially we could benefit from it." Miller says "we" means he and Kilpatrick.
Ultimately, Jones, Laing, Lasalle got the contract. Talley and Cook gave Miller cash payments. It was Cook who made the actual payments "multiple times", more than ten times. Any time, that JLL completed a transaction and Cook would receive a brokerage commission, he would call Miller to meet him to give him cash. miller says he shared half the amount he received with Kilpatrick. He would give it to him in cash, in person. This happened multiple places, mayor's office, barber room, outside of city hall. Occassionally he would tell Kilpatrick where the money was from.
"He would ask me where it was from and I would say JLL," says Miller.
Chutkow asks how mayor would react when he offered him the cash.
"He would take it," says Miller. Sometimes Miller says Kilpatrick would say "cool."
Sean Werdlow ultimately had responsibility over the contract but Miller says he never gave him cash.
"I didn't need to," says Miller.
Miller says Werdlow had no idea he was receiving money from JLL and that half of it to the mayor.
Miller says he first met with federal agents on this case in 2010. Says at first he didn't tell agents that he was splitting money with mayor because he didn't want Kilpatrick to get in trouble.
Miller says he pleaded guilty to violation of a federally funded program and tax evasion. Miller says it was receiving money for his influence in the city. Amount of his potential prison sentence is capped at 10 years but could get less than that for his co-operation in this case.
Miller says he is hoping for a reduction but that no one from the government has made any promises. Says he knows that it is Judge Edmunds decision as to what his sentence will be.
11:55AM Taking a 5 minute break.
12:05PM Judge Edmunds re-enters courtroom. We are back in session.
Now we are on to Bobby Ferguson. Miller says he first became acquainted with Ferguson in the mid-90s because he was a friend of Kwame's. Miller testifies that Ferguson played a pivotal role in Kilpatrick being elected mayor- financial, transportation, staff. Miller says that Ferguson and Kilpatrick continued to be very good friends. Miller says Ferguson lead one of the transition committees- Motor City Makeover.
Miller says he observed Ferguson going into barber room with the mayor. On occasion, the door would be closed.
Looking at an identification badge with Ferguson's picture for the mayor's office. Mayor's office designation would be for people who worked on the 11th floor of the city county building.
Miller says the 11th floor has a couple of sides: one side is the mayor's office and the other side was the budget.
Miller says Dedan Milton was executive assistant at one point as was Marc Andre Cunningham. Miller says Sean Werdlow would have had a different ID badge for the Finance Department. Miller recalls seeing Ferguson's ID badge. Miller says the badges "gave access to the city. The city county building." Could use the employee entrance instead of the public one and use the back elevator.
Talking about city county building parking. Members of the cabinet had designated, appointed parking spots. Miller had an assigned spot as did other cabinet officials. Miller says Ferguson would be allowed to park there sometimes though he didn't have a permanent spot.
Miller says cabinet meetings would take place in the mayor's office or the conference room directly across from his office. Cabinet meetings took place once a week. Miller says Ferguson never came to the meetings though he would interrup the meetings to see the mayor. The mayor would step out of the cabinet meeting to talk to Ferguson.
Miller says it was widely understood that they were supposed to help Bobby get work. "We" says Miller were the appointees who knew that Ferguson was Kilpatrick's friend. Miller says he was told by Kilpatrick to help out Ferguson. In his presence, he heard Kilpatrick tell Christine Beatty the same thing. Miller says he helped Ferguson as related to city business. Would let the mayor know "ee were looking out for Bobby at every possible opportunity."
Miller says he felt that he had certain level of influence over the city of Detroit. Others who he felt within the mayor's office who had influence: Beatty, Ruth Carter, the head of the city Law Department. There were others who had varying degrees of influence as well. Outside of city government, Bernard and Ayanna Kilpatrick, Ferguson, Art Blackwell and Conrad Mallett all had influence over the city as well according to Miller.
Miller says he believes he had Kilpatrick's ear as to what related to city business over Bobby. But that changed as tension developed between Miller and Kilpatrick. As the administration went on, Miller believes that Ferguson strated wielding more influence than him. Starting around 2004. Miller says he and Kilpatrick developed stylistic differences in approaching city business.
"I would best characterize it as the working relationship came under strain from various initiatives and outside influences," says Miller.
Miller says they would meet at Bernard's condo usually at night. The mayor, Ferguson, miller. occasionally Blackwell would be at the meetings called by Bernard. the purpose would be to discuss city business and politics. Discussed business opportunities for some of Bernard's clients and Ferguson would talk about things he might be interested in such as water department contracts or demolition.
Miller says he unofficially had responsibilities with the water department. Early on, he was the unofficial liaison between Victor Mercado and the mayor. Would meet with Mercado and talk about water contracts that Bernard's clients or Ferguson might be interested in.
12:30PM Just looked at text exchange introduced earlier that Bernard wrote about meeting regularly with mayor and Ferguson. Miller says they never met as regularly as indicated in the text exchange.
Missed a text that referred to the Shrine of the Black Madonna.
Looking at another exchange from July 18th 2002
Mayor: You on your way to Pop's house?
Another text from november 9th 2003.
Bernard: Have a safe trip back big fella! Holla at you Tuesday... me you bobby and zeke need one of our sitdowns.
Mayor: Okay pops. Holla later.
On November 12th 2002 between Bernard and Mayor.
Bernard: Me zeke bobby need to meet with you asap plus henry hagood is getting too slick for his own good...
Zeke is Miller's nickname.
Text from December 1st 2003.
Mayor: Me, Bobby and Zekewill be over at 9:30AM
Text from February 2nd
Mayor: Me and Zeke need to holla at you
Bobby: What did I do now?
Mayor: Nothing Dog! Time for a business meeting
Mayor: Let's meet tonight at 9:30PM
Mayor: We'll let you know.
Bobby: Okay boss.
Mayor: Zeke has basketball game at Joseph Walker at 9. We'll come to your place later....
May 19th 2004
Bernard: Would love to have a sit down tonight before Zeke is out of here.
Mayor: Zeke is gone.
Text from August 3rd 2004
Bernard: cool! we need to have one of our meeting you me zeke and bobby.
Miller says as of August 2004 he was still having his meetings with Bernard, Kwame and Ferguson.
August 4 2004 more text.
Bernard: We (me) need that meeting I was talking about. My crib late.
Same date as above.
Mayor: Me and Zeke will be there at 9pm.
Bernard: Cool! Will have agendas together. Mayor: Cool.
Miller says they would have actual agendas at the meetings for items to be discussed- business opportunities, political strategies and community interests.
Again on August 4th 2004
Mayor: Can you stop by Pops house at 9:00
Mayor: Cool see you then.
Later on August 4th 2004
Mayor: If are out. Come by my house.
Ferguson: Where you at now, at home didn't have my two way.
Miller says Ferguson had a Skytel pager. Not aware of other contractors who had a pager.
Miller says Kilpatrick expressed concerns about wire taps. Says Kilpatrick had the office swept a couple of times- was mindful of wires and bugs. Miller says he believes the entire 11th floor was swept with particular emphasis on mayor's office and the barber room.
Miller says the concern about listening devices had to do with law enforcement.
Miller says his office during mayor's first term was 2 doors down from Kilpatrick. Beatty was down on the far end of the hall. Carolyn Mesa was Chief Operating Officer and she was closest to the mayor's office.
Looking at KCF check to Spy Ops dated October 15th 2007 for $1397.08. Signed by Beatty and Miller. Miller says he pre-signed check and wouldn't have known what it was for.
Left the city of Detroit in late September or early October 2007. Miller maintained signatory authority for awhile
12:50PM Miller says occasionally when he was talking to the mayor, they would turn the music up loudly in either Manoogian or the mayor's office. The mayor would say to turn the music up loudly and he would turn it up himself. Topic of conversation might have been money or contracts.
Miller says he didn't turn the music up. Sometimes they were discussing business opportunities for Ferguson.
The inner circle was told by Kilpatrick to be careful over communicating over the telephone.
Text exchange from May 22nd 2004
Ferguson: Good morning big dog.
Mayor: Good morning bro what's up with you?
Ferguson: Time to plan. Radio shows....
Kwame: We are on the same page.
Ferguson: And I forgot one. Private investigator to find out who is doing what to us and what is who doing....
Kwame: needs to be a good one from outside....
Ferguson: So who would be in charge of starting this up this is the second time me and you has both said this should be done.... Chris and Derrick shouldn't know a damn thing about it. i will explain why later... i think me and art should start.....
Miller says he didn't know anything about hiring a private investigator.
Chutkow says this might be a good place to stop. Judge adjourns court until tomorrow morning.
Just overheard US Attorney Chutkow mentioning on the video monitor that he still has a couple of hours to go. Seems we are far from done with Mr. Miller.
12:59PM Court resumes tomorrow morning at 9AM.
About the author
Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.