First, you've probably heard allusions to Mr. Kilpatrick being a consultant. Being a consultant is not illegal. Also not illegal for someone who provides the services to interact with members of administration. What is illegal would be if your son the mayor said to someone, "If you pay my father, I'll do you favors." Or if the mayor told his father, tell peopl e to do business with you because I'm mayor. That's illegal. In this case, the government is going to try to show Mr. Kilpatrick’s involvement. I'm going to argue much of what the government had to say my client did not do. Mr. Kilpatrick is 71 now, prior to Kwame becoming mayor, Mr. Kilpatrick had worked in lots of political campaigns. At time his son ran for mayor, he was chief of staff for Ed McNamara. Supported his son as any father with his experience would. He did in fact leave his chief of staff position and opened a consultancy business. Consultants provide information on how to access government and sometimes they provide that access. This is akin to work of lobbyists. Not illegal. Various ways those consultants get paid. That's what consultants do. Bernard Kilpatrick was not alone in this profession.
Bernard brought 20 plus years of government experience to the table. the evidence will be that he acquired many clients. You will hear that Bernard provided valuable services. The government says that Mr. Kilpatrick and his business are part of a conspiracy. Mr. Kilpatrick not just a consultant but had fundraising experience. Bernard did work for the Kilpatrick Civic fund- fund raising, presentations. not uncommon to be paid for.
Did not get paid a dime from the Civic fund for many years. Allegations regarding bribery and extortion. Mark Andre Cunningham is a man who was dirty to begin with. He and his father were caught. Mr. Cunningham was stung and caught and squeezed by government investigators. His story that he was required to pay bribes to Bernard was part of it. His evidence was bought and paid for. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Cunningham testifies because he hasn't always told the same story. I will show to you the disparities. We will prove the fact that Bernard Kilpatrick did provide services to Karl Kado. Kado not always well thought of in the city administration. Bernard presented him in a favorable light to the city. There came a time when Kado lost his contracts with the city. Bernard Kilpatrick attempted to prevent that. Bernard got paid for that. Karl Kado was brought into this investigation because he was caught bribing Cobo Hall. James Rosendall and Synagro had a proposal that was considered by city of Detroit. There was community opposition that was anticipated. Skilled consultants were necessary to get this thing off the ground. Mr. Rosendall is probably going to testify that Kwame asked him to hire his father. There will be no quid pro quo.It wasn't something that was fast-tracked. This proposal required reviews by all kinds of bodies. It took over 4 years for all this to get through. Early on it became that Bernard would not be the right face for the Synagro proposal. If you're an international company, it might not help your credibility to have the same last name as the mayor.
Bernard referred the client to someone else. Bernard did stay involved with Mr. Rosendall to help him personally. Some of the assistance was specifically for that. Government has said that Bernard has extorted Mr. Rosendall and has shown snippets of comments. The problem with snippets is that it doesn't tell the whole story. I want to show more of that picture. Bernard Kilpatrick was helping with the consultant who moved forward. In the weeks leading up to the Synagro project getting approved, Jackson and Rosendall conspired to move Bernard aside. Mr. Kilpatrick was upset, he was trying to protect a legitimate iterest he had. He was trying to extort but save an interest. Not extortion. Mr. Chutkow referred to payment received by Rosendall. He did, it was earned and he deserved it. Mr. Chutkow refers to a restaurant meeting where Bernard rejected money offered. And he did, because it was envelope full of money slid to him. It would have been foolish to accept the payment. There are in fact 2 sides to every story.
11:57AM Crandall concludes. Judge Edmunds clarifies who Judge Feikens is. Over the course of years, judge Feikens became very active in operations of the water board. Retired about 2 years ago and died 6 months later. Though I sit in the courtroom he used to occupy, I have nothing to do with the water case. Just want to be clear I have no responsibility with water board.
11:44AM Crandall continued. The texts don't go on for a day- they go on for 4 years. The government didn't tell you the rest of the story.
Another text between Kwame and Ferguson about Victor: "He thinks he's slick with the white folks." Kwame "His slick ass is running out."
5 days later, Ferguson to Kwame "Victor just outsmarted us. Had me come to his office. thought it was about the job we had. It was about the three lowest bidders, white folks." If the racism in these talks bothers you, don't hold it against Victor. It's all about the circle of trust and Victor just ain't there.I know you understood judge's instruction on presumption of innocence. People have died all over the world to ensure we have these freedoms. If you decide he's not in the loop, not in the circle of trust, you only have one option. Not guilty. These texts are all about the inner circle exclusive of Victor. They are talking about his back. That's what's important about the exhibits. When you look through them, you read Hispanic, slick man. I believe they are going to call Kandia Milton to the stand and he'll read: "Mercado is not easily controlled." Feikens liked Victor so the inner circle couldn't push Victor. Victor is charged with ten of these extortions.Victor ran the water department to improve it not to make grass. Victor had to go to Wall Street and sell municipal bonds in New York, besides running the water department. the 10 contracts they are going to tell you about, the extortion didn't happen, the racketeering didn't happen. He doesn't have lying in his DNA. His biggest problem was coming to Detroit. Victor came here, wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in this agenda that wasn't his. Remember Victor. You have to do the right thing. Find him not guilty let him go back to his wife, 87 year-old mother and 4 children.
11:23AM Crandall continued. Tony Soave invites Victor on a boat and Victor says I don't want to be on it. He bitches and moans when the boat takes off. Then the CEO of Soave's company tells him the boat is yours to us. Victor says no, I don't do it. I see some of you are tired after almost 3 hours of argument. I'm going to tell you about Victor's life. His life is at stake.
Born in 1950, Victor grew up in poverty in the South Bronx. Never went to a Yankees game because he couldn't afford it. Lived in a tenement. Off to school got good grades. Worked every day through college. Got 2 degrees and became a successful engineer. Could walk you through his resume, it's 5 pages long. Worked with Con Edison through college. Worked other engineering systems in Virginia and Puerto Rico. Worked in Turkey, Mexico, Central America. When the judge saw the resume, decided we want this guy.
Why was water department so screwed up? Because it was run by lawyers! Then came along Victor. Jujne 24th 2002, first day on the job, water main breaks. Victor kind of a guy that Feikens wanted because he has dirt under his finger nails, gets job done.
There is nothing racial about Victor. But Victor would always tell mayor I'm not about black or white but about green. Who is talented, you get the job.
Victor grew up in the Bronx. He knows racism. He's worked beyond it. His mom and dad taught him hard work and education pay off. He worked at bodega at 9 years-old and made 50 cents.
Now he is working minimum wage at hardware store. But he taught his children to work hard and be professional and get ahead.
Let me talk to you about text messages. These text messages cover a 4 year period.
It was a treasure trove of information. The mayor and his inside circle. Christine Beatty, his father, the Milton brothers, they are all texting each other, sending blast emails to circle of trust. Mr Ferguson, Mr Kilpatrick. and you know who they never blasted, Victor Mercado. He is not in the circle of trust.
In them they say, we don't trust him, got to get that Hispanic guy. Those texts are better than wire taps. Text is from the brain to the finger tips to this chart. Example, a sinkhole that occurred on a Sunday in 2004. The water system is a horrible system. On this day, a Sunday, Victor is on the scene. For an hour, inspects it. High pressure job. CEOs around the country make more to him.
Victor is out there for 2 weeks driving steel sheets into the ground. Removed residents from 6 homes so the homes wouldn't sink into sinkhole. When Victor texts the mayor, it's always professional, usually beginning "Mr. Mayor". what it shows is that he is not in the circle of trust. The mayor texts Bobby Ferguson about the sinkhole, not Victor. Kwame :" You've got to get with Victor on this Sterling Heights job."
10:57AM "Good morning I'm Marty Crandall and I represent Victor Mercado. John Minock and I are representing Mercado together.
Let me say this first. Victor Mercado is not guilty of any of these charges. When you say the proofs you will see that the government can't prove its case. You will do what Judge Edmunds told you to and when there is not enough evidence, you will acquit.
The judge gave you a summary of the indictment, 100 pages long. If you distill it down to allegations, my client Victor Mercado is charged with being a member of the enterprise which in the indictment, the Kilpatrick enterprise.
The indictment reads: the mission of the Kilpatrick enterprise is A. To enrich its members. In that vein, the proofs will show clearly beyond a shadow of a doubt, Victor never got a dime. Not a penny. Not an illegal dollar.
The theory of the government is a member gets enriched and Victor is allegedly a member and Victor gets nothing.
3 theories of the enterprise. Common sense is this a public corruption case, #1, the blockbuster count, racketeering is the government's nuclear bomb. You will learn that primarily from witnesses who testify, drop the RICO, plead guilty to something else and you'll serve a lot less time. Like Derrick miller. So it's a nuclear bomb.
I say that in the vein, I respect the military, even our military knows our government has huge power. Going back to Bush going to Iraq, "We are going to shock and awe the Hussein government." and they did. Blockbusters have collateral damage. An example of the power.