Do you know that when he was released Mr. Kilpatrick went to Texas? Yes.
When was this party? In May.
So he would have been released, no longer mayor and in Texas? Yes
Courtroom testimony today revealed that the Kilpatrick Civic Fund paid for a 90th birthday party at the Antheneum Hotel, the services of a PR crisis manager who once worked with Monica Lewinsky and a Nike golf bag with "The Mayor" embroidered on it.
Earlier on the day, 4 witnesses who all worked in investment management testified about donations they had made to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in 2007 and 2008. Pugh Capital Management in Seattle, Washington donated $2,000, Chicago Equity Partners gave $20,000, Churchill Financial of Clearwater, Florida contributed $1,000 and Northpointe Capital of Troy handed over $10,000. All the witnesses said that had they thought their donations to the Civic Fund would go towards personal or political campaign expenses for Kwame Kilpatrick, they would never have contributed.
U.S Attorney Jennifer Blackwell asked Michael Nairne if he would have donated for Kilpatrick "to go to the La Costa Resort for $8,000?" No was his unambiguous response.
Judy Smith, a D.C. based crisis manager whose life and work serves as the inspiration for the ABC television series "Scandal", testified today that she received a call from Mr. Kilpatrick in early 2008 to enlist her aid with the text messaging crisis. For her work over the course of several months, Smith invoiced the former Detroit mayor close to $180,000. Smith's company Impact Strategies received two checks from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in 2008- one for $30,000 and a second for $40,464. A third check for $25,000 was made out to Smith's L.A. based non-profit Impact Philanthropy. Smith said there was an amount of $60,000 outstanding on the bill that was ultimately struck off by her bookkeeper.
Another witness, golf club salesman William Brane Scott, told the court how Kilpatrick's golf instructor Butch Rhodes handed him a Civic Fund check for $3,050 to pay for a set of Nike stainless titanium golf clubs and a staff bag with "The Mayor" emblazoned on it.
"Nike makes good stuff," said Mr. Scott.
FBI agent Robert Beeckman took the stand again today to discuss telephone conversations recorded as part of wire taps. Amongst those was a Wayne County Jail conversation between Kilpatrick and his sister Ayanna to plan the 90th birthday celebration for their grandfather Marvell Cheeks. The jailhouse party planning included snippets of Kilpatrick telling his sister "momma we gotta do something really nice for grandaddy's birthday" and "get like a DJ to play that big band sound." The party for 140 guests was held on the 8th floor of the Antheneum Hotel in May 2009. Menu items included Chicken Tarragon, medley of vegetables, roasted potatoes and a large birthday sheet cake. On a total bill of more than $7,000, a payment of $2,500 was made with a Civic Fund check and a further $3,800 was paid in cashier's checks.
Other recorded conversations included wire taps of Bernard Kipatrick's cell phone conversations. On one call he could be heard soliciting a donation for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund from Abner McWhorter of Expression Publishing in Detroit. How much asked McWhorter?
"Big sellers, 20, 25. If you can do 5, that would be really cool," replied Bernard.
The last wire tap was for a conversation between father and son Kilpatrick about how to pay a hotel stay in Orlando, Florida. Bernard is at the front desk and having issues because they need the check to be certified and signer Christine Beatty is nowhere to be found. The check from the Civic Fund was ultimately not negotiated for that stay.
A debit card for the Civic Fund was used to transact two payments of $367.89 at the Marriott Cyprus Harbor in Florida. John Shea, lawyer for Bernard, showed evidence that Bernard had used his American Express card to pay for flights, meals and car rentals.
"So the only expense charged to the Civic Fund debit card on this multi thousand trip would be the $367 room charge?" Shea asked the witness. Yes replied Beeckman.
After court recessed, a hearing was held in the courtroom of Judge Marianne Battani to determine why homeless shelter operator Jon Rutherford is not yet imprisoned. Rutherford, who is expected to be a key witness in the Kilpatrick trial, was sentenced in January 2011 to 21 months on tax charges.
Kwame Kilpatrick defense lawyer Jim Thomas stated that he wanted to see any existing correspondence between Rutherford's lawyer Steve Fishman and prosecutors to verify why Rutherford was still free. Fishman said that the letters were goodwill ones from Rutherford's friends and family and Judge Battani would not release them. Rutherford could get leniency on his 21 month sentence for his testimony in the Kilpatrick trial.
Court resumes tomorrow at 9AM.