Kilpatrick trial: Day 46

Published On: Dec 21 2012 09:15:00 AM EST   Updated On: Dec 21 2012 12:47:26 PM EST
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DETROIT -

Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick's dad Bernard Kilpatrick and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. Each day we bring you information from inside federal court as it happens.

8:57AM And it's the Friday morning before we take a nice little break for the holidays. Things are pretty quiet here at the U.S. Courthouse. Originally we weren't scheduled to have a court session today but I think after the many breaks in the trial Judge Nancy Edmunds decided we should forge ahead today. After today, the next court session will be on January 3rd 2003

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson walk into the courtroom together. Kwame's got his Clark Kent glasses and a bow tie on today. Bernard Kilpatrick has been sitting at the defendants' table for some time. He's always first of the defendants to the courtroom.

We'll finish off with some final cross-examination of government witness Bernard Parker and it looks like next witness might be Marc Andre Cunningham, an ex-executive assistant to the former Detroit mayor. We saw a sneak peek of him on the video monitor as he quickly peered into the courtroom.

All the lawyers exit the courtroom. I'm assuming they are headed to Judge Edmunds's chambers.

We are wondering here in the media room if there will be a moment's silence in the courtroom today in remembrance of the Newtown tragedy last week.

9:17AM Prosecutors are back in the room. I thought there would be defense cross-examination of Bernard Parker III but it looks like prosecutor Michael Bullotta is putting documents on the podium.

Still waiting to get started. Defense and Judge Edmunds not even in the room yet. Wondering if we start the session with a moment of silence. Defense lawyers still not back so defendants are sitting alone at the table with Ferguson's handler guy.

And defense lawyers and the judge are back. Here comes Marc Andre Cunningham, he was convicted of bribing a city official in 2010. 

9:24AM Judge tells jury that defense has decided to not re-cross Bernard Parker. Also, being told there will be no trial on Wednesday, January 9th. Cunningham takes the stand and Bullotta questions for the government. This guy doesn’t not look happy to be on the stand. Squirming in his seat. Says he met Kwame at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, were in the same fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha. They were in college between 1988 and 1992. In 1995, after college, took a job with Ameritech Cellular that became Verizon in Chicago. He was an account manager, customer service, sales, loss prevention, project management. Was all over the place over 10 years. Transferred to Elgin, Illinois at one point Witness is originally from Louisville, KY. In 2004, Cunningham came to Detroit to do business. Kwame had suggested it so he moved his family here. The job he had at the time was flexible.

Wife Laurie and 3 kids moved to Novi with him.

Guess no moment of silence today. That's too bad.

Christmas 2004- had a conversation with Kwame regarding the use of Kilpatrick's SKYTEL pager. Discussed all the text info on SKYTEL pagers were store somewhere. Cunningham suggested Blackberries because they were encrypted better and they wouldn't have to worry about people getting a hold of their text messages.

So Kwame got rid of pagers and they got 5 Blackberries. witness says initially Ferguson paid for them.

Witness indicates Ferguson, "That's one of Kwame’s best friends." "Kwam" is his nickname for Kwame.

Blackberries: one for mayor, Carlita, Christine Beatty and Ferguson.

We'll be talking about Syncom Company. Looking at 3 texts.

Text exchange between January 2nd 2005- mayor and Cunningham

Mayor : What's up with the blackberries bruh

January 12th 2005- Cunningham and Kwame

Mayor: Call me at 938  need to talk about phones ASAP.

February 4th 2005- Cunningham and Mayor

Forward from mayor: Starting tomorrow my 2way address is: detroitmayor@vzx... Mayor KK

Cunningham saying Blackberries a more secure network.

About 6 months after getting blackberries, took the phones out of Ferguson's name and put them in Kwame's name. Kwame didn't want them to be in the city's name. Ferguson stopped paying and the mayor started paying in cash and credit cards. Witness didn't see bills.

Talking about Syncom, a risk capital firm that witness consulted with. Invested in smaller companies to try to call them. Knew a Terry Jones, a close friend of Cunningham's family, was a partner in Syncom. Like an uncle to the witness. Based out of Maryland/DC. In early 2006, Cunningham worked with Jones. Jones hired witness to help put info together about telecom business.

Witness says Jeff Beasley is one of his best friends that he grew up with in Chicago. Beasley was Detroit Treasurer and sat on the board of pension funds, policemen and firemen. Cunningham says he was trying to help "uncle" Terry Jones raise money so he introduced him to Beasley and other pension fund people. Chris Jackson, taught them the ropes on pension funds. Helped to get Terry $15 million each from 2 pension funds, police and fire and the general fund. So $30 million total. Beasley appointed to the board by Kwame. Cunningham had a contract with Jones, hired as a consultant for 3 years and would get $300,000 over 3 years paid in quarterly installments of $25,000. Or total is 1% of $30 million.

10:46AM Looking at consulting agreement with Syncom. Effective March 15th 2006. Shall terminate on 3rd anniversary of commencement sate, March 15th 2009.

Compensation is $25,000 per calendar quarter.

Agreement signed by Terry Jones and Marc Cunningham.

Summer of 2006, July or August, witness offered new job by Kwame. Offered job as mayor's executive assistant. Worked there until 2008. This agreement was in effect before he took the job. Cunningham took the consulting agreement to John Johnson in city law department.

As exexcutive assistant, witness went wherever Kwame needed him, "rolled with him", prepped for events and managed the office. Basically, Kwame's personal assistant.

Witness showed consulting agreement to city law department and changed his quarterly payment to $15,000 from $25,000. Says he altered because he was concerned that people knew how much he was getting paid. Didn't want it out there- wanted it to be private. Felt that if people knew how much he was making, people might ask him for more.

Witness says he gave some money to Bernard Kilpatrick and was worried he would have to give him more.

Meeting at Mosaic restaurant with Chris Jackson, mayor, Beasley. Those are people he recalls being there. Remembers Chris or someone saying that he had to go into a deal with BK- Bernard Kilpatrick. Consulting agreement in process, not sure if $30 million was approved at that point. Bernard did nothing to secure pension deal.

The $30 million eventually got fully funded and witness started receiving commission checks for $25,000. Came as checks which he deposited in his bank. would take out 10,000 or $15,000 in cash and would give Bernard 3,4 or $5,000 at a time when he got his checks. Says he paid Bernard because "that's kind of the way it was." Did it to try to gain favor with the mayor by looking out with his dad. To thank Kwame for making sure pension fund deal went through.

Cunningham says initially, he wanted to do more deals like the $30 million one so wanted to gain favor.

Witness paid Bernard in cash at discreet locations: at the barber shop by city county building, at his house, in the hallways.

"It was handshake to handshake."

"Wanted to keep it low key. Didn't want people knowing."

Barber shop is in the basement of city county building. Bernard would tell him to meet him there. Would meet outside, shake hands, make exchange and keep moving. Met like this maybe 6 times. Could have been more than $5,000 at times.

Bernard would say "It's about that time." Was his way of asking if Cunningham got his commissions fee.

Sometimes Kwame would ask about it. Maybe once or twice.

If witness gave Bernard less than 5k, Bernard would comment "it's a little light."

In 2007, Kwame and witness talked about witness's ability to pay money. He was financially tight. The check from Syncom had not arrived.

"Kwam said 'You got take it easy on my dad this month." Understood that to mean that he didn't have to pay his dad as much.

Told his wife and friend Phil Regan, an attorney, about the financial arrangement.

Looking at pictures we have seen before of the mayor's office. Looking at the barber chair room. Describes it as a "private chamber room." Remembers mayor going in there alone with fundraiser Emma Bell, Bernard and Ferguson at different times.

Witness says when mayor talked to Ferguson he was not allowed to participate in the conversations. Doesn't know why he couldn't participate. Never was part of contract discussions between Kwame and Bobby. Never there when issues came up. He doesn't know what they talked up when they went into the room.

10:05AM Witness says he knows office was swept for bug's- mayor's office and the private chamber were both swept.

September 2007, got a call from a reporter with the Philadelphia Inquirer. Talked about an FBI sting that was going on. Asked if he knew about it.

Now bullotta backing up to April 2007. witness worked with Kwame. Met with some out of town people who wanted to do a deal in Detroit. Gave him $5,000 in cash. It turned out it was the FBI.

Cunningham felt terrible when he found out. Called mayor and met him at the airport to talk to him about it. Mayor knew what he was talking about. Cunningham says he was planning to put the money in the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Kwame said to put the money in the Civic Fund and they would get a receipt for it.

Met Kwame at the airport because he assumed that the phones at the office could be bugged. Kwame was arriving from somewhere.

"Classic set up. Should have known better," said Kwame to witness. "Yeah I know" said Cunningham.

Cunningham never put the money in the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Witness trying to raise money but Kwame told him to forget it, that it wasn't going to work. Main reason he didn't put it in was because initially he didn't have money. When he did, Kwame thought it was a bad idea.

Kwame then told him to lay off payments on Bernard. Moved Cunningham to the film department. Kwame felt he was "too hot" to be his executive assistant. He served as liaison between city and filmmakers.

Moving to 2008. Cunningham learned that his phone had been intercepted by the government. Initially learned it when he was home and a reporter came by and knocked on his door in the middle of the day. after that, witness got a hold of Kwame and went to the Manoogian Mansion. Kwame said "I told you."

Kwame showed him a letter that he had that showed the phones were being tapped. But the witness didn't know about it. Doesn't remember physically seeing him but Kwame told him about it. Basically said that his phone was tapped.

Went to the back of Manoogian, outside by the river. Says they were talking in code, both were covering their mouths. People were outside and they were paranoid. witness suggested they get different phones. So they did. Kwame gave him cash and he went to get the Metro PCS 30 day phone- "burnout out" phones. Got about 5 or 6 of them. He distributed them: to the mayor, Jonathan Quarles, the new executive assistant.

Still kept the Blackberries but put them in Cunnigham's name. Doesn't know why.

Remembers going on Bermuda trip with mayor, Dedan Milton, Mike Martin, Dwayne Love and Beasley, Ferguson. They flew there on local billionaire Tony soave's jet. Played golf and met with the Prime Minister.

"Just sort of hung out."

They went to the cup match, a big cricket event where they met the PM.

Witness describes the trip as a "kick off the new regime" trip. He had just started working there. He made a contribution to the trip- maybe $500 to $1,000. but definitely not enough to cover the cost of the trip.

"It was a nice trip."

Witness says that Kwame had "2,3 racks"- 2 or $3,000.

The trip occurred in July or August 2006. They stayed at a house on an island in the middle of Bermuda.

In May 2007, went to Las Vegas for the La Hoya prize fight. Witness says they flew there. Thinks it was a private jet too. Ferguson, Bernard went on the trip. Doesn't remember if Beasley was there.

Went to Vegas more than once. Once with mayor, Lucius, Derrick Miller, Chauncy Mayfield, with the pension fund. It was on a private plane. thinks that the Chauncy dude paid for it. It was a "fella's trip", they played golf.

On another trip to Vegas, went for some union stuff.

Remembers the golf bag with "the Mayor" inscribed on it. He was the mayor, says witness, why wouldn't he have the bag. Doesn't remember doing any work to raise money for Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

Witness says he knows Mahlon Clift. good friend from Chicago. Also went to Florida A & M. with him and Kwame.

January 2010, received a visit at his him from FBI agent Bob Beeckman. Told him he knew about the sting operation- the $5,000 he took from the undercover people. He was shown a still shot of the hotel room where the exchange took place. Explained to Beeckman what happened. Said he didn't know why they were offering him the money. Initially told Beeckman that he didn't take the money. Said he gave it back because he didn't want it.

Says he told Beeckman that because he was afraid. but after he calmed down and thought it through, he came clean to Beeckman. witness could tell that Beeckman knew he took the money. Witness says he told the agent he'd get in touch with his lawyer.

Signed a plea to cooperation. Pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Sentenced to 30 to 37 months which could be lowered if he testifies truthfully.

10:30AM Bullotta thinks he is probably done but wants to confer with prosecution. Judge agrees and calls for 20 minute break.

9:46AM Looking at consulting agreement with Syncom. Effective March 15th 2006. Shall terminate on 3rd anniversary of commencement sate, March 15th 2009. Compensation is $25,000 per calendar quarter. Agreement signed by Terry Jones and Marc Cunningham. Summer of 2006, July or August, witness offered new job by Kwame. Offered job as mayor's executive assistant. Worked there until 2008. This agreement was in effect before he took the job. Cunningham took the consulting agreement to John Johnson in city law department. As executive assistant, witness went wherever Kwame needed him, "rolled with him", prepped for events and managed the office. Basically, Kwame's personal assistant. Witness showed consulting agreement to city law department and changed his quarterly payment to $15,000 from $25,000. Says he altered because he was concerned that people knew how much he was getting paid. Didn't want it out there- wanted it to be private. Felt that if people knew how much he was making, people might ask him for more. Witness says he gave some money to Bernard Kilpatrick and was worried he would have to give him more. Meeting at Mosaic restaurant with Chris Jackson, mayor, Beasley. Those are people he recalls being there. Remembers Chris or someone saying that he had to go into a deal with BK- Bernard Kilpatrick. Consulting agreement in process, not sure if $30 million was approved at that point. Bernard did nothing to secure pension deal. The $30 million eventually got fully funded and witness started receiving commission checks for $25,000. Came as checks which he deposited in his bank. would take out 10,000 or $15,000 in cash and would give Bernard 3, 4 or $5,000 at a time when he got his checks. Says he paid Bernard because "that's kind of the way it was." Did it to try to gain favor with the mayor by looking out with his dad. To thank Kwame for making sure pension fund deal went through. Cunningham says initially, he wanted to do more deals like the $30 million one so wanted to gain favor.

Witness paid Bernard in cash at discreet locations: at the barber shop by city county building, at his house, in the hallways.

"It was handshake to handshake."

"Wanted to keep it low key. Didn't want people knowing."

Barber shop is in the basement of city county building. Bernard would tell him to meet him there. Would meet outside, shake hands, make exchange and keep moving. Met like this maybe 6 times. Could have been more than $5,000 at times. Bernard would say "It's about that time." Was his way of asking if Cunningham got his commission’s fee. Sometimes Kwame would ask about it. Maybe once or twice.

If witness gave Bernard less than 5k, Bernard would comment "it's a little light." In 2007, Kwame and witness talked about witness's ability to pay money. He was financially tight. The check from Syncom had not arrived. "Kwam said 'You got take it easy on my dad this month." Understood that to mean that he didn't have to pay his dad as much. Told his wife and friend Phil Regan, an attorney, about the financial arrangement. Looking at pictures we have seen before of the mayor's office. Looking at the barber chair room. Describes it as a "private chamber room." Remembers mayor going in there alone with fundraiser Emma Bell, Bernard and Ferguson at different times. Witness says when mayor talked to Ferguson he was not allowed to participate in the conversations. Doesn't know why he couldn't participate. Never was part of contract discussions between Kwame and Bobby. Never there when issues came up. He doesn't know what they talked up when they went into the room.

10:05AM Witness says he knows office was swept for bug's- mayor's office and the private chamber were both swept.

September 2007, got a call from a reporter with the Philadelphia Inquirer. Talked about an FBI sting that was going on. Asked if he knew about it. Now Bullotta backing up to April 2007. witness worked with Kwame. Met with some out of town people who wanted to do a deal in Detroit. Gave him $5,000 in cash. It turned out it was the FBI.

Cunningham felt terrible when he found out. Called mayor and met him at the airport to talk to him about it. Mayor knew what he was talking about. Cunningham says he was planning to put the money in the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Kwame said to put the money in the Civic Fund and they would get a receipt for it. Met Kwame at the airport because he assumed that the phones at the office could be bugged. Kwame was arriving from somewhere. "Classic set up. Should have known better," said Kwame to witness. "Yeah I know" said Cunningham. Cunningham never put the money in the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Witness trying to raise money but Kwame told him to forget it, that it wasn't going to work. Main reason he didn't put it in was because initially he didn't have money. When he did, Kwame thought it was a bad idea. Kwame then told him to lay off payments on Bernard. Moved Cunningham to the film department. Kwame felt he was "too hot" to be his executive assistant. He served as liaison between city and filmmakers.

Moving to 2008. Cunningham learned that his phone had been intercepted by the government. Initially learned it when he was home and a reporter came by and knocked on his door in the middle of the day. after that, witness got a hold of Kwame and went to the Manoogian Mansion. Kwame said "I told you." Kwame showed him a letter that he had that showed the phones were being tapped. But the witness didn't know about it. Doesn't remember physically seeing him but Kwame told him about it. Basically said that his phone was tapped. Went to the back of Manoogian, outside by the river. Says they were talking in code, both were covering their mouths. People were outside and they were paranoid. Witness suggested they get different phones. So they did. Kwame gave him cash and he went to get the Metro PCS 30 day phone- "burnout out" phones. Got about 5 or 6 of them. He distributed them: to the mayor, Jonathan Quarles, the new executive assistant. Still kept the Blackberries but put them in Cunningham’s name. Doesn't know why. Remembers going on Bermuda trip with mayor, Dedan Milton, Mike Martin, Dwayne Love and Beasley, Ferguson. They flew there on local billionaire Tony soave's jet. Played golf and met with the Prime Minister.

"Just sort of hung out." They went to the cup match, a big cricket event where they met the PM. Witness describes the trip as a "kick off the new regime" trip. He had just started working there. He made a contribution to the trip- maybe $500 to $1,000. but definitely not enough to cover the cost of the trip.

"It was a nice trip."

Witness says that Kwame had "2, 3 racks"- 2 or $3,000.

The trip occurred in July or August 2006. They stayed at a house on an island in the middle of Bermuda. In May 2007, went to Las Vegas for the La Hoya prize fight. Witness says they flew there. Thinks it was a private jet too. Ferguson, Bernard went on the trip. Doesn't remember if Beasley was there. Went to Vegas more than once. Once with mayor, Lucius, Derrick Miller, Chauncy Mayfield, with the pension fund. It was on a private plane. Thinks that the Chauncy dude paid for it. It was a "fella's trip", they played golf. On another trip to Vegas, went for some union stuff. Remembers the golf bag with "the Mayor" inscribed on it. He was the mayor, says witness, why wouldn't he have the bag. Doesn't remember doing any work to raise money for Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

Witness says he knows Mahlon Clift. Good friend from Chicago. Also went to Florida A & M. with him and Kwame.

January 2010, received a visit at his him from FBI agent Bob Beeckman. Told him he knew about the sting operation- the $5,000 he took from the undercover people. He was shown a still shot of the hotel room where the exchange took place. Explained to Beeckman what happened. Said he didn't know why they were offering him the money. Initially told Beeckman that he didn't take the money. Said he gave it back because he didn't want it.

Says he told Beeckman that because he was afraid. But after he calmed down and thought it through, he came clean to Beeckman. witness could tell that Beeckman knew he took the money. Witness says he told the agent he'd get in touch with his lawyer.

Signed a plea to cooperation. Pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Sentenced to 30 to 37 months which could be lowered if he testifies truthfully.

10:30AM Bullotta thinks he is probably done but wants to confer with prosecution. Judge agrees and calls for 20 minute break.

10:48AM Still on break. Most of the defense team is probably at the first floor snack shop but I'm not headed down there because there is a smorgasbord of food here in the media room. We're definitely in the holiday spirit in here. Fellow journalist Teresa Baldas made some amazing chicken bruschetta. I had 3 and I'm still eyeing the platter. There was even a special request for one from bobby Ferguson.

10:55AM Break is over. Judge begs the indulgence of the jury. Cunningham in from Chicago so they are going to try to finish him today. So we may run a little late today.

Jon Shea for Bernard Kilpatrick cross examines.

Shea ask if witness is in cooperation agreement with government because they stung him on the $5,000 operation. Cunnigham agrees that is so.

Mutters under his breath, "That doesn't make sense."

Witness says he got a call from his father-in-law to assist some New Jersey people with a deal in Detroit. The New Jersey people were the undercover agents.

Witness says he never went into it with expectation to get anything out of the deal.

But Shea says you and your father discussed getting a percentage if the deal got done. Witness says no. Discussed deal with father-in-law but witness's point is he was just helping out his father-in-law. Just did it to help him out.

January 26th 2010, first time he met with FBI agents in Detroit. at that time, he acknowledged to Beeckman discussions with father-in-law about getting percentage on the insurance deal.

Shea walks up to witness with transcript of the FBI interview.

Government calls for a sidebar.

11:00AM Shea asks about FBI interview again. Witness says document does not refresh his recollection.

Cunningham remembers conversation. Says he had "discussions." Remembers discussions but nothing about sharing percentages with his father-in-law.

"All I can tell is the truth as to what happened..." says Cunningham about discussions with father-in-law.

Cunningham says he had no expectation of profit from the insurance deal.

In April 2007, Cunningham says he met with people he thought were from the New Jersey insurance company. They gave him $5,000 and he took it.

Shea says you took it to the casino and gambled it away. That is what he told federal agents. Cunningham says he doesn't remember what he did with it.

"Suffice it to say I spent the money."

On personal stuff? Yes says Cunningham.

Cunningham says he met with federal agents a number of times to discuss a number of things. Says he has receivedreceived bebenifits for his cooperation. Was not charged with taking the $5,000 and won't be charged if he cooperates. His sentence range is 30 to 37 months but under plea agreement, they might recommend less if he cooperates.

Shea says if he doesn't continue to cooperate then it's a breach of the cooperation agreement. That's correct says Cunningham.

Government is sole determiner if he has provided enough assistance says Shea. Correct.

So that's some pretty powerful incentive to testify. Correct.

Shea says so there are other things you won't be charged with. Don't know says witness.

Well Shea says you lied in statements to feds and won't be charged for that. Correct.

You also described paying Jeff Beasley kickbacks from Syncom payments to the feds and you don't anticipate being charged for that. Correct says witness.

So that's additional incentive to testify today says Shea. Correct says witness.

Cunningham says he was active in Kwame's re-election campaign in 2005. He had aspirations to be a marketer and third party consultant.

Talking about Syncom agreement with Terry Jones effective March 15th 2006. Jones received 2 $15 million approvals from 2 separate pension funds. Sometime after that discussion at Mosaic restaurant about paying Bernard Kilpatrick money.

Witness says meeting took place before he was even working for the city. It was sometime that spring or summer. so chain of events, he signed Syncom agreement, they began negotiations with board to get pension money, meeting at Mosaic took place and then he started working for the city.

Cunningham saying Mosaic wasn't actual sit-down meeting.

"This is how it went down," says witness.

Says Chris Jackson was teaching him how to do things. And it was at that meeting he was told to bring on Bernard.

Witness says after he started working, at some point he took his consulting agreement to law department because it might be a conflict of interest. Even though he didn't think it was.

Shea says witness told Judge Rosen that pension fund approvals came through in May.

"If that's what I said, that's what I said," shrugs Cunningham.

11:20AM November 4th 2010 hearing with Judge Rosen testimony. Shea showing witness transcript of his testimony.

From transcript, in May 2006, both pension funds tentatively agreed to requests and then made disbursements. Mosaic meeting came after this according to Cunningham.

Shea says so Jackson suggested getting Bernard on the deal even before the deal went to the pension board. That's a possibility says witness.

Shea says so before May 2006, Bernard was already involved. Correct says Cunningham.

Witness says that he initially wanted to partner with Chris Jackson. Cunningham says he liked the guy. But he dropped out of the deal for a month or so.

Shea says so it was more important to rely on Bernard for his expertise. Cunningham is laughing.

"I'm not sure why you're laughing." Shea says he is not so funny.

"Funny like a clown," says witness.

Shea says so Bernard got about $15,000 from you once the commission checks started coming from you. So only about 5% of the $300,000. correct says witness.

Shea says Bernard and Kwame never told you how much to pay him. Correct.

You decided what was the fair price says Shea. Correct says witness. Though he can't remember how he came up with the figure it came from somewhere.

Witness thinks there may have been some negotiation with Bernard.

Shea says so you are cognizant that Bernard is a businessman and you were referring him work.

So it wasn't like you were enemies? Not at all says Cunningham.

Shea says you didn't tell law department that Jeff Beasley was your friend and helped with the pension fund deals. I don't know says Cunningham. Didn't tell the law department he did.

Shea says you did kickback to Jeff Beasley, isn't that true. No that's not true says the witness.

Shea says you paid him out of commission check at least $20,000. I don't know exactly the amount says Cunningham.

Shea says you can't recall today but you recalled years ago?

Did you agree it was a pretty good estimate? I agreed says Cunningham.

"That's the estimate I'm going with."

Isn't it true you told investigators you paid him that because he voted for pension deals? Witness says that he was his friend and he would have paid him regardless. Cunningham says one of the investigators that it was in the back of his mind because he helped him and witness says he agreed with investigators.

Cunningham says he would have given Beasley money out of love for his friend.

Every 3 months Beasley would ask him for money. Coincidently around the same time at Syncom commission checks.

Told investigators that their code for payment was when Beasley would ask "are you straight?"

Witness says it was more to check if he was fine.

Shea says put you paid him money at least in part because he took care of you on pension fund deal. Ok fine says witness.

No one else knew says witness about Beasley payments.

11:37AM Jim Thomas for Kwame cross-examines. Asks Cunningham how he's doing.  

"I've been better." Cunningham testifies that both he and Kwame met their wives in college. Witness says he has embraced the Kilpatrick family and is still fond of them. Thomas saying Kwame helped to talk his son into taking showers because apparently the kid didn't like to take them. Cunningham's wife worked for Kwame's re-election campaign. Witness says he was aware that the re-election race was very close and Kwame had a lot going on. Also aware of the recount. Says his wife was hands on with recount, actually counting ballots. Witness says that the Kilpatricks were capable and dedicated people. The only person more hard-working than the mayor is "Adrian Peterson maybe" says the witness. Cunningham says Kwame was a great mayor. The spirit of the city was high. There great programs in place. Cunningham says people can't actually say anything negative about what he actually did for the city. "The things he accomplished were unbelievable." "Lights were working and things were getting done," adds the witness. Witness says mayor had very competent staff.  Walt Watkins was "A1". Christine Beatty and Anthony Adams also very competent. Cunningham says that Derrick Miller did his own thing. He was never around. He was off on special projects. "I never knew what he did. He was like Kwame," says Cunningham. Witness says he had opinion he became less and less engaged. Thomas says so Derrick went rogue? Witness agrees. Now Thomas discussing pension board. There were 2 pension funds, police and fire and the general fund. Witness agrees. Thomas says that Jeff Beasley was highly principled and wouldn't have done anything unethical on the board. Correct says witness. Thomas says there were also union people on the board. 7 people on the board and the majority are union people. there would be a presentation to the board which is considered after due diligence by the board. Thomas said Syncom very well prepared presentation. Yes says witness. Witness says that the deal went through quickly because it was a very good deal. Cunningham says he wasn't there when it was actually approved. Talking about Mosaic meeting. Thomas says you can't swear under oath Kwame was there. I can't swear says Cunningham. So he couldn't have talked to you about Bernard. If he wasn't there says Cunningham. Thomas said you might have told Kwame about the commission to his father. Yes says witness. Thomas asks witness if he is looking at the government for prompts.

"I was looking at you," says witness. Cunningham is laughing. Thomas says so at one point you went to Kwame and said you didn't have more money. And he suggested to you that his father not pay that month. Correct says witness. Thomas talking about CMAC- Coleman A Young City Council building. Witness went there every day. For some reason talking about the cafeteria in the basement. Seems that where the barber shop is where he would meet Bernard for money exchanges. Looking at  mayor office photos introduced during fundraiser Emma Bell's testimony. Thomas says there is a hub of activity in that office. Cunningham agrees that there was. Thomas says the doors are frequently open and closed. Yes says witness. Thomas asks if he ever saw Kwame with large amounts of cash except that time in Bermuda. No says witness.

Thomas asks if he felt he had a large amount of discretionary cash. "10 or 20 thousand dollars? No," laughs Cunningham. Thomas says about small side office that going in there didn't seem inappropriate. "Appropriate or inappropriate, I don't know," says Cunningham. Thomas talking about Sheriff Warren Evans not being in the administration at the time. Evans' office was not in the mayoral office. Now talking about the sweep for bugs of the offices. Earlier testimony by the Spy Ops guy indicated Evans's office had been swept. Cunningham says there could be legitimate reasons for sweeping offices. Like during re-election campaign being wary of what opponent Freeman Hendrix may be doing.

Cunningham agreeing that he was embarrassed he was being federally investigated and that he was afraid it was going to taint the mayor.

Thomas says the mayor went to you, put his arm around your shoulder and tried to console you. Witness agrees. Thomas is saying you aren't saying that he rolled up his sleeves and conspired to cover it up. Witness says we met, talked and then the suggestion was come up with $5,000 and try to put it in the Civic Fund. His idea or yours? It wasn't mine says Cunningham. He didn't say where I should get the 5 thousand from but just that I should get it. But then further down the line he said it wouldn't work. Cunningham saying this is what Kwame told him.

12:05 PM the last thing he told investigators when he took the $5,000 were that he was going to put it in the Civic Fund.

Judge just yelled at Thomas to wait until witness has finished answering. Kwame is upset. Thomas goes over to talk to them. Bernard and Kwame have been passing notes back and forth. Thomas says Kwame told you to put the tainted money in the Civic Fund? Cunningham says Kwame told him to come up with the 5 thousand to put in the Civic Fund. Just noticed that Susan Van Duson is not in the courtroom.

Judge summarizing what the witness is testifying. Cunningham says he spent the $5,000. So you lied when you told them you were putting it in the Civic Fund? Yes says witness. Then you got busted? Yes. Thomas goes back to consult with Kwame. Thomas says Kwame told you he could fire you because of the problem? I don't remember him saying. Do you remember him saying that he wasn't going to fire you because of your wife and kids? I don't remember that. Did you get demoted? Yes says witness. He became the director of the film department.

Did he not tell you that you had 6 weeks to find another job? I don't remember that. Now Thomas goes to testimony about phones and concern about security. Thomas says that mayor was travelling outside of country and regular phone not compatible for that but Blackberries are.

At that point, Blackberries were the pinnacle of technology both Thomas and Cunningham agree. Talking about foliage around the Manoogian.

 "Did you cover your mouths because the FBI might see you from Belle Isle." I don't know says witness.

Cunningham agrees that Tony Soave and Kwame were good friends. Cunningham agrees that he heard Soave say to enjoy use of the jets.

Cunningham doesn't remember going to the PM of Bermuda's residence. Thomas saying Bermuda was sister city to Detroit.

Now talking about sport of golf. Thomas says do people talk and do business playing golf. Yes says witness. Thomas asks if trips playing golf were mixed business and pleasure. Yes says Cunningham. Talking about Mahlon Clift, the jeweler who testified earlier in the trial. Cunnigham says he doesn't know if Clift handled large amounts of cash in his job. Thomas says Ferguson and Clift were cool with each other. Yes says Cunningham. And if we were cool and I asked you to carry $90,000 through the airport would you do it? Cunningham says we're not cool like that. Clift testified to carrying $90,000 through the airport under Ferguson's instructions to give to Kwame. I'm not cool asks Thomas.

 "I'm not saying you're not cool. I'm saying we're not cool," laughs Cunningham. Thomas says he has nothing further.

12:18 PM Judge calls for a 5 minute break before redirect.

12:25PM Bullotta says he has a brief redirect because someone has a flight to catch.

Bullotta asks if witness had hired Bernard as a consultant on the Syncom deal. No says the witness.

Cunningham says it was at the meeting at Mosaic that he first heard that he should pay Bernard.

Witness says he believed he was supposed to pay Bernard. Cunningham says he is pretty certain that it is Chris Jackson who told him he had to pay Bernard. Because he was Kwame's dad.

Cunnigham says he believed that Kwame wanted him to pay Bernard. Says Kwame would say "Thanks for taking care of my dad."

Cunningham says he never entered into negotiations to hire Bernard or Chris. Thinks it was either Bernard or Jackson who came up with 5 thousand number.

Cunningham agrees he didn't feel like Bernard deserved the money he paid him.

Cunningham says he felt that if he didn't pay him he wouldn't get more consulting work.

"I didn't know the rules at that point," says witness.

His sentence will be determined by judge at the sentencing hearing.

12:30PM Shea gets up for more cross. Asks a very confusing question about sentencing recommendations.

Judge Edmunds asks for sidebar.

Shea says so judge ultimately decides your sentence. Correct.

But per your plea agreement, the feds can make a recommendation for a sentence. Agreed says Cunnigham.

Shea says that you are testifying to things that only you and someone else were present at. Government relying for you to tell the truth.

"One lie and all bets are off," says Cunningham about his plea agreement with the government.

If you didn't tell the truth then, you wouldn't tell the truth now because you would be lying one way or the other. True says Cunningham.

Shea asks about Jackson telling witness to pay Bernard.

Government asks for sidebar.

Shea goes back to Jackson. Shea says you didn't think Bernard would be involved in the deal for nothing? I didn't think that no.

Shea says he assisted you in some respect in guiding the deal forward. Correct says witness

12:38 PM Bullotta goes back for redirect.

Bullotta asks what Bernard did specifically to help guide him. don't know specifically what he did but came to one meeting.

Besides going to one meeting did he do anything else to get $15,000 asks Bullotta. No says Cunningham.

12:38 PM Shea crosses again.

Shea says Bernard knew people on the pension board and had insight didn't he. Yes says Cunningham.

Judge dismisses witness. Judge says happy holidays and have a nice break to the jury. Reminds them not to talk to anyone about the case over the break.

"Have a fantastic break everybody. Enjoy yourselves," says Judge Edmunds.

12:42 PM And we are out peeps. See you next year. We'll be back on Thursday, January 3rd 2013 at 9AM.

About the author

Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.