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.
Day 53 at the U.S. District Courthouse. It will be the fifth day on the stand for government star witness Derrick "Zeke" Miller. It will be Gerald Evelyn, lawyer for Bobby Ferguson, will take a stab at Miller first thing this morning.
9:04AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom and the session is set to begin.
Evelyn begins his cross. Pleasantries being exchanged, so far no fireworks.
Evelyn talking about Miller's degree in Biology. Discussing Bernard Parker III and Bernard Parker JR. Apparently Parker father was involved in Miller's baseball organization. Has known Parker III over 20 years. Ferguson saying that Bernard son benefitted from his father's city political connections.
Evelyn saying DWSD not one of Miller's areas of responsibility. Miller agrees he was not intimately involved with the DWSD contracting processes.
Discussing Kelly Bartlett from the testimony on Detroit 3D and Vanguard. Evelyn asks about Miller's specific recollection about Marilyn Johnson, Ferguson's wife, documentation being insufficient for grant fund requests from the State Budget Office.
Miller says detail was missing on the grant request and scope of the work.
Evelyn asking how many submissions of Johnson's miller looked at. Miller can't remember how many but did see some invoices.
Miller agrees he has been to Ferguson Enterprises Also agrees he has never worked in the construction industry. Miller says he never asked to be shown training areas in the offices. Miller says he would not know where trainees would have been working.
Miller agreeing that Ferguson Enterprises did a fair amount of excavation.
Evelyn asking how many other minority companies did this kind of excavation work. Miller says maybe 2 or 3 but can't name them.
Evelyn says so probably the most prominent minority excavating firm is Ferguson's. That's fair says Miller.
Motor City Makeover was large scale project to help clean up neighborhoods in Detroit says Miller. Ferguson and Frank Torre were the heads of that project- took place over several years. Involved personnel, equipment, trucks for debris, land fills, people to supervise, community volunteers and a number of strategy meetings to coordinate.
Evelyn says Ferguson had ID badge in order to connect him to Motor City Makeover. Could be says Miller.
Evelyn says both Ferguson and Torre had these ID badges. Miller can't confirm that Torre had one but says it would have been consistent with Motor City Makeover.
Ferguson leans over to whisper to Kwame and pulls away laughing.
Evelyn saying Motor City Makeover saved the city millions of dollars and took several years. Miller agrees.
Evelyn says that the project was so successful the city offered to pay for them to continue. Miller says he doesn't know if that happened.
Evelyn discussing Kilpatrick administration initiatives including opportunities for minorities within the law. Miller agrees it was important to the administration.
Miller confirms that he met with several black contractors and that Ferguson was at some of those meetings. Witness also agrees that contracting business is very competitive.
Miller agrees as liaison his role was to get information and take it back to the mayor.
9:25AM Miller agrees that there were a number of people who saw the mayor and that there might have been an order of importance as to who got to see him.
Some of those people included Pinsky, Karmanos, Ted Gatzaros of Greektown, John Rakolta of Walbridge- all could call the mayor directly.
Miller says that minority Detroit-based contractors were told that they would get special consideration.