8:58AM Just getting started this morning.
Bernard Kilpatrick is the only defendant seated at the table right now as he reclines in his seat in a light beige suit. Jim Thomas, Kwame Kilpatrick's defense lawyer, is going over notes likely preparing to continue his cross-examination of EPA special agent Carol Paszkiewicz.
Paszkiewicz's testimony yesterday included a series of text exchanges, mostly between Kwame and his friend and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson, about contract 1368 with the DWSD. The government looked to demonstrate that there were behind the scenes orchestrations to secure contract work despite the defense's contention that the former mayor did not hold that sort of sway over water contracts.
Bernard and his lawyer John Shea are huddled together, in deep conversation as court proceedings get set to start.
9:10AM Still no sign of Kwame and Bobby. It was a long day for Kwame yesterday who left the federal courthouse at 1pm to make his way to a hearing at Wayne County Circuit Court in Judge Groner's courtroom at 2pm. A date of March 12th 2013 was set for him to go back to Groner's court to testify about his book proceeds and where they were going. That should presumably be after this trial concludes but the way things are going you never know. After yesterday's hearing the former mayor tweeted "All that fuss for absolutely nothing! Wow!"
9:15AM There's Kwame in a bright yellow tie but still no sign of Bobby.
9:19AM And finally there's Bobby. Bet he got caught in the long immigration lines that occur on Mondays and Thursdays at the courthouse.
Nancy Judge Edmunds enters the courtroom and asks to talk to counsel before the jury arrives. She is probably not happy about the considerably late start this morning.
Admonishments are over and the jury is called in.
The judge apologizes to the jury for the late start and is explaining the logistics about long lines on days with naturalization hearings. The judge says the defendants had to wait outside for over an hour before getting into the courthouse.
9:25AM Thomas continues his cross of Paszkiewicz. They are discussing the sinkhole in sterling Heights that occurred just before August 23rd 2004. The witness agrees that the situation was an urgent matter that required immediate attention.
The witness talking about the process to write up special administrator orders to send to the mayor for signature.
Thomas saying that the special administrator order on December 23rd 2005 for amendment #4 on 1368 is one of only 2 times that Kwame ever used the order to approve contracts. The other time was for contract 2012.
Thomas bringing up Kathleen McCann's testimony about conversations with Bernard Parker who was brought on to help with water contracts.
Thomas and the witness are butting heads. "We are going to agree to not agree on a lot of things," he tells the EPA agent. She politely concurs.
Thomas addressing the comprehensive financial report for the city of Detroit for 2002 and the organizational chart for the city for 2005.
The special administrator procedure allows the mayor with just a signature to enter into a water contract. This is one thing Thomas and the witness both seem to agree on.
Looking at a new email that Thomas is introducing into evidence from an Insituform employee, Paul Mechino, to other Insituform employees- the company was also involved on contract 1368. The email is dated December 19th 2005, around the time of the approval of amendment #4 to 1368. Thomas says there is speculation that the mayor is holding up the amendment. US Attorney Mark Chutkow objects to term "speculation" and Thomas agrees not to use it.
The witness reads the email. Talking about expectation of amendment to move through in a timely manner. Says that the mayor refuses to sign it because there is not a resolution between Inland Waters and FEI (Ferguson enterprises). Not confident that amendment will be funded.
9:50AM Thomas says he wants to talk about the email conclusion that mayor is holding up amendment because lack of resolution between Inland Waters and FEI. Thomas says December 2005 is just before Judge Feikens ended the special administrator-ship of the mayor for water contracts.
Thomas brings back transmittal letter for the amendment order #4 on contract 1368. Mercado has signed the document. It was prepared on August 12th 2005.
Thomas asks witness what was going on in Detroit in August 2005. Witness says she doesn't know. Thomas says Kwame was running for mayor again and engaged in a primary- he lost.
9:55AM Thomas says city budget and law offices don't sign off until Kilpatrick does.
Thomas saying it was unclear between August and the primary election if Kwame would be mayor in 2006. Thomas says city council was also in turmoil.
Thomas asks the witness if she has ever heard the term lame duck. "Of course," she laughs, "I work for the federal government." "I have other terms for that," says Thomas.