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 Video turns on and the three defendants are seated alone at the table. Counsel must be in Judge Nancy Edmunds's chambers.
Yesterday last witness was CPA Gary Leeman who was an expert witness on 501c4s for the defense. Unfortunately for the defense, he was rather more helpful for the government when he admitted that there was no way that yoga classes should have been paid by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. He is supposed to come back Tuesday but I'm wondering if the defense decides it's not really worth their while.
9:13AM Finally, here comes counsel. About to find out what they've been discussing.
Except they all just walked out, defendants included and now the courtroom is totally empty.
Apparently, they have told courtroom spectators they need 15 more minutes but have not explained why.
9:24AM Still waiting.
9:37AM And we are still waiting. No idea what is going on but this is definitely the latest start yet. Can't even begin to speculate what this delay is all about.
Government attorneys all seems to be in the courtroom. It was interesting because after the meeting in judge's chambers earlier this morning, defense counsel walked through the room, picked up the defendants and walked out the courtroom's main door.
9:40AM Bobby Ferguson's lawyer Mike Rataj is first of the defense team back in the courtroom. Soon followed by all three defendants. Kwame seems to have opted to go jacketless today: he's just wearing a suit vest over his shirt and tie today.
9:42AM Alright so it looks like the rest of defense counsel is finally streaming back into the courtroom.
9:47AM Still nothing. This is unbelievable. Wondering if maybe we are missing a juror because this is one long delay.
9:48AM Judge Edmunds finally enters. Says there were evidenciary issues with a bunch of defense witnesses that had to be resolved and that was what was done over the last hour.
They had a meeting in chambers where counsel went on record.
Judge asks for additional statements from counsel.
Thomas says government teed up an issue referred to in their brief from "the olden days" when we first started the trial.
Judge interrupts and asks the court reporter to tells jurors who are not in the courtroom to quiet down.
Thomas continues that they want to prove that Civic Fund was put to good purposes. Thomas saying they are attempting to rebut culture of corruption and that the Civic Fund in particular was not put towards that use.
Thomas says that $1.7 million dollars came in for the period between 2002 and 2008 and just a minimal percentage of that is in question.
Thomas says they are not putting Kwame's character in question but looking at a bigger picture of the Civic Fund.
Says he will continue to attack that the Civic Fund was used for improper purposes. He wants to flesh out what the Civic Fund was doing.
Judge says that his argument that because 92% of the Civic Fund uses were proper and only 8% of the usage was improper is not defensible.
Thomas says it was 99% in the years that he quoted. But he says if you are talking about specific areas of conduct where criminality occur, this rebuts the culture of corruption argument.
Judge says Civic Fund issue is mail fund issue.
US Attorney Mark Chutkow counters Thomas's argument. Says that defense is not prohibited from introducing opinion testimony but not evidence of good conduct. Says that government can introduce bad conduct evidence to rebut but not the reverse for the defense.