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.
9:00AM Courtroom is full. Judge is entering the court. Everyone looks a little tired this morning- it's been a long week. Kwame Kilpatrick has good reason to feel a little somber today. Even though it's Friday, he has been prohibited from going home to Texas this weekend by his parole officer for falling behind on his restitution payments.
9:03AM Harold Gurewitz, lawyer for Kwame, is continuing his cross-examination of Tony Soave.
Soave confirms that MPS, a company he is involved in, generates somewhere between $35 to $50 million.
Gurewitz asking about an MPS executive who might have had access to the company jet. Soave saying it wouldn't be free, likely he would be charged for it. Soave saying that if he gave this Mr. Rickman the plane he could fill the plane any way he wanted to. Gurewitz asks if Kwame Kilpatrick was one of the first people that Rickman invited on the plane.
Looking at chart summary of flights. Soave saying that he can't tell from the log which flights were taken for personal purposes.
Gurewitz saying that city aviation tracked the flights and gave exact names at one point and that changed. Asks Soave if he knows when change occurred. Soave says he doesn't know.
Asking about a flight on February 25th 2004 to DC. Saying that Kilpatrick went to DC to give testimony about blackout and asking if Soave knows about it. Soave says he doesn't know.
Gurewitz asks about March 11th 2004 trip to Leesburg, VA, a suburb of DC, that Kilpatrick was on. Soave owns business interests there.
Gurewitz admits a page into evidence from the Soave Enterprises website about Brambleton.
Soave says Brambleton is a community of homes and a town center. Gurewitz reads that it is a 2,200 acre community 32 miles from DC.
Soave remembers flying with Kwame to show him that development. Gurewitz says that Soave wanted to show him the development as an example of what could be done. Soave agrees. Gurewitz puts up a document that is a request for company plane for trip to Brambleton with passenger listed as Mayor Kilpatrick. Soave doesn't recognize it or know who would have submitted it. Soave saying that he remembers Kwame really liking one of the condo layouts at Brambleton. Gurewitz says that was in March 2004. Gurewitz says these trips follow blackout 2003.
Gurewitz asks if he remembers Mackinaw conference in June 2004, the 4th and 5th. Soave says he knows it and used to go. "I don't know why I used to go. I know why I don't go now. Too many politicians."
Soave says he went 3 or 4 times. Occasionally he took politicians with him including Brooks Patterson.
9:15AM in July 2004 there is a record of a flight from Detroit to East Hampton to Boston. July 24th was the date. Indicates the passengers as Kwame Kilpatrick, Dedans Milton and Sergeant Dwayne Love. Love testified earlier in the trial. He was part of the Executive Protection Unit for the former mayor and testified to travelling with him on private jets. At the bottom of the page it indicates Democratic Convention in Boston.
The request form shows approval signature of ALS- Anthony L. Soave. Soave agreeing that he thought the Democratic National Convention was an important event for Kwame to participate in. Gurewitz asks if he remembers promising to fly Kwame to political events. Soave says he doesn't remember but must have. Soave says he remembers Kwame being very involved in democratic politics. Now looking at chart log for May 19th 2006. Gurewitz asks about Dan Gilbert. Soave says he owns Quick and Loans and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Soave says he thinks he had a conversation with Kwame about talking to Gilbert about moving some of Quick and Loans back to Detroit. Vaguely recalls them going to a basketball together. Gurewitz says since that time some of Quack and Loans moved back to Detroit. Soave agrees: "Yes in a pretty significant way." Gurewitz asks if that trip was instrumental in the move happening. Soave says "I believe it was and I was happy to help."
Gurewitz now moves on to Naples, Florida. Asks about a condo and other properties owned by Soave there.
Gurewitz mentions Towers of Moraya Bay. Soave says it's a high rise, 72 units. Soave says there is also The Dunes there with 7 buildings and 600 units. also owns Regatta at Vanderbilt Beach. Bullotta objects. Judge says we've already been over this but Gurewitz says he is going somewhere different. Back to the flight log. Looking at a flight entry on round-trip from Detroit to Naples on December 27th 2006. Gurewitz asks if he remembers inviting Kwame on the trip. Soave says he remembers inviting him but not when.
Gurewitz asks if he wanted to show him the developments as something to emulate in Detroit. Soave says he remember showing him a few times.
Soave says he remembers talking to Kwame about how some similar condos could work in downtown Detroit between Ren Cen and Stroh's.
9:31AM Soave using his hands a whole lot to gesture emphatically when answering Gurewitz questions. Soave saying that his financial people handled 1099s on the flights.
Gurewitz asking if the flights could have been a deduction for the company. Soave says he doesn't know. Soave does say that the financial people didn't want flights to be a political contribution.
So there was a concern that this could be viewed as a political contribution? Soave says they decided to handle it the way it was.
Soave agrees that an outside lawyer was hired to see if the flights could be viewed as a political contribution.