8:55AM Monday morning at the U.S. District courthouse and the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial is set to get going again. It seems everyone was affected by the unspeakable tragedy at Newtown, CT last Friday, and that includes Kwame.
The former Detroit mayor who was in Texas over the weekend visiting his family tweeted the following on Friday:
We are getting set to continue with the testimony of contractor Johnson Akinwusi who testified Friday that he paid for Kwame's layaway suits.
Just got video of the courtroom and the lawyers must be in a meeting in Judge Nancy Edmunds's chambers because Kwame, Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson are seated by themselves at the table.
9:07AM Here come the lawyers. Just waiting for the witness to take the stand and the jury to be seated.
Judge Edmunds mentions that tomorrow and Thursday we are stopping a little early at 12:30PM. Mike Rataj just asked if we will have court on Friday and the judge replied yes. That's news to me because on the calendar Friday is a day off.
9:12AM Jennifer Blackwell for government redirects Akinwusi.
The witness says he approached Larry Alebiosu because he was having difficulty getting city contracts. Also says it was the tailors idea to pay for the mayor's suits which he did.
Looking at split screen of receipt and check: March 11th 2002 was the date for both his suit receipt and the check of more than $7,000. Akinwusi says the difference of about $4,800 between his suit receipt and the check went towards the mayor's suits.
The witness says that after he paid for the mayor's suits that he got the Heilmann contract with the city.
Looking at the progress minute meetings that Gerald Evelyn, Ferguson's lawyer, introduced last week. Witness says that the only contribution of Michael Woodhouse and Xcel Construction to the Heilmann project was to attend the progress meetings and take the minutes.
Evelyn Objects. Judge overrules.
Looking at series of payments between 2003 and 2006 from JOA to Xcel. Witness says he had a deal with Xcel to pay them on the contract. JOA had 64% of the project and thus should have controlled payment activity and the risk bond.
Witness reiterating that having Ferguson Enterprises do demolition for the project was a conflict of interest as it was another Ferguson business. Witness typically says he would have bid out the demolition work but did not in this instance.
Blackwell done with redirect. Jim Thomas, Kwame's lawyer asks for sidebar.
9:25AM Evelyn gets up to do more cross.
Reminds witness about the 31 documents he showed him last week. And that Bobby Toliver's name was on all the documents. Evelyn is telling Akinwusi that he was not present at the meetings or work sites so doesn't know what was going on.
Evelyn and Akinwusi are talking on top of each other. Judge intervenes and tells them to wait for the other to finish before speaking.
Evelyn asking wahta projects he had submitted bids on before Heilmann that he did not get. Witness says he didn't submit any. Also did Manoogian Mansion restoration after Kilpatrick was elected.
9:26AM Thomas does more cross.
Thomas says you did Manoogian restoration and the Heilmann project. Witness says he paid for the suits on layaway.
9:27AM Akinwusi dismissed and now we get a new witness, the infamous Southfield tailor Larre Alebiosu of Fashion International.
"Everybody calls me Larre," says the witness.
Sells clothes and makes custom-made men's clothing: shirts, ties, suits, jackets. Has 2 or 3,000 clients. Has been in business since 1990. Has clients from all walks of life: athletes, businessmen.