4 witnesses testified about falsified invoices, a lavish office renovation and a profit made on the sale of a home purchased with state grant funds from contractor Bobby Ferguson's non-profit group Detroit 3 D.
Chris Boettcher, President of Airtec Corp, testified today that invoices submitted to the state presumably from Airtec were in fact not his company's. He also testified that he never did any work on Meyers St and that he never authorized the statements sent with Airtec's name to the State Budget Office.
Next on the stand was Bob Murray, President of the Contract Design Group, a commercial and residential interior contracting company. Mr. Murray testified that in 2001 he did extensive work for Ferguson Enterprises which included hardwood floors, marble detailing, a spiral staircase and an upper loft in the President office. Initially, the loft area was meant to be a meeting space but due to budget constraints, midway through the project it became a "chilling pad" complete with television screen. The total cost of the renovation was $71,500 with an initial deposit of $37,000.
Murray described meeting Bobby's wife and children in the backyard of their home and about seeing campaign signs that read "Kwame for Mayor" on work vehicles.
"What's a Kwame?" asked Murray. Ferguson explained that he was hoping his life-long friend Kwame Kilpatrick would become mayor so that he could get some business when Kwame got rid of Detroit's blighted homes.
A former resident of Meyers St, Martin Jolly, described to the court how the home next door was falling apart: leaking roof, falling ceilings and weed overgrowth everywhere. He never met the owner of the property but said he recalled a brown skinned person driving a Cadillac come by once. Mr. Jolly ultimately bought the property in July 2005 for $50,000 from Detroit 3D.
Lastly, IRS agent Ron Sauer was called back to testify. Judge Nancy Edmunds explained to the jurors that because of the length of the trial, certain witnesses would be called back for different "chapters" of events. Agent Sauer testified that a check for $42,567.17 made out to Detroit 3D was deposited to the Ferguson Enterprises account at First Independence Bank.
The agent also described how when the $250,000 Arts and Cultural grant for Detroit 3 D came into one of 2 accounts at Merrill Lynch, the first transaction on the account was to wire transfer $100,000 to Carlita Kilpatrick's U.N.I.T.E.
Susan Van Dusen, one of Bobby Ferguson's defense lawyers, deftly cross-examined the witnesses. During her questioning of Murray, she pointed to date inconsistencies on government documents and explained that of the $71,500 bill from his company, Ferguson Enterprises paid $41,898.48. She also got Mr. Jolly to say on the stand that the seller never came looking for him and that it was he who pursued the sale of the home on Meyers St.
Van Dusen made a point of reminding Agent Sauer that as of November 2002, Detroit 3D had severed its ties with the SBO which had never sought to reclaim the grant of $250,000.
Van Dusen asked if, as President of Detroit 3D, did Bobby Ferguson not have the authority to sell the property on Meyers St.
Sauer answered that yes he was able to do it but "I would say it's unusual for a non-profit to withdraw funds and give them to its President."
But said Van Dusen you can't tell us it's illegal for him to do it. No responded Sauer.
Big news of the day was that the sleepy juror was tossed from the jury.
Right at the start of session, Judge Nancy Edmunds announced that juror #4 had been excused because "she had some issues being as attentive as she needed to be." She was replaced by an alternate.
Kelly Bartlett, former legislative liaison for the State Budget Office, testified about a phone call in the spring of 2001 from then-state rep. Kwame Kilpatrick.
Bartlett revealed that he was startled when Kilpatrick began the conversation with a tone of voice suggesting that he was in trouble.
"Kilpatrick said these organizations or these groups are getting nickeled and dimed by you people", said Bartlett. Kilpatrick was referring to Detroit 3D and Vanguard.
Bartlett also told the court of his concerns that Kwame's wife Carlita Kilpatrick was getting money from the grants. He even drafted a letter on the issue for the Attorney General's Office but it was never sent.
Stephen Oshinsky, former systems manager with SkyTel, also testified.
It was all about Emma Bell.
The former Kwame Kilpatrick fund-raiser never actually made it to court but her presence was certainly felt. In his cross-examination of IRS special agent Ron Sauer,Kwame Kilpatrick defense lawyer Jim Thomas did his utmost to discredit the government's co-operating witness, branding her just about everything out there: liar, criminal, snitch, gambler and alcoholic who stuffed money in her bra and mattress.