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.
9:00AM Video monitor turns on. Kwame Kilpatrick is talking heatedly with his father Bernard at the defendants’ table.
Pretty interesting day yesterday between talk of bugs biting and jumping between jurors, government allegations of altered defense documents and one witness describing being called a "punk" by Bobby Ferguson. Given the possible bug infestation in the courtroom, I'm happy to be keeping my distance in the sanctity of the 2nd floor media room.
I'll be watching closely for any itching action in the courtroom. Interestingly, only the defendants are sitting at the table right now. Counsel likely meeting in Judge Nancy Edmunds's chambers. Whatever is going on, we are definitely late this morning.
We will be continuing with the cross-examination of contractor Odell Jones by Ferguson's lawyer Gerald Evelyn.
9:15AM Mike Rataj just walked back into the courtroom.
Talking about his cracking hands and his use of hand lotion with the court marshal. And still waiting. Wondering what is going on.
9:20AM Here come the rest of the lawyers.
9:25AM Judge Edmunds finally enters the courtroom. Edmunds says they are missing a juror chair.
"They moved things around when they were spraying," says Edmunds.
Sounds like they fumigated last night. Yuck.
Evelyn continues with Odell Jones cross-examination.
Evelyn asking how many contracts after Book Cadillac Jones competitively bid and lost.
Jones says he can't recall the specific incidents because that would have been in 2006 and 2007 and he wasn't personally involved in business estimates with his company Jomar. Jones says he bid contracts at the zoo.
Evelyn asks for specific contracts. Jones can't come up with specifics. "No way I can tell you that," says the witness.
Evelyn asking if Jones asked about specific contracts when he talked to the former mayor at Manoogian. Evelyn asking if that was when there were boat races. It could have been. Evelyn asking if Jones talked with mayor's mother.
Jones says he did about his relationship- supposing he is talking about his relationship with Kwame. Talking about 2004 ballot initiative that would have given Kwame control over the public schools. Jones remembers the initiative but not the result.
Evelyn says it was voted down 2 to 1. Evelyn asks if Jones lived in Detroit at that point. Jones says he did.
"A good number of things are significant to me that I can't remember in 2004," says Jones about his lack of memory about things that were going on in the city at that time. Discussing contract amendment, change order that the witness discussed with Ferguson. Jones says that in his testimony with grand jury he met with Ferguson and then after the meeting received a letter from him. "Fundamentally the testimony is accurate," says Jones.
Evelyn says that the letter from Ferguson wasn't about him complaining about payment. Jones says that he called Ferguson and said that the matter was resolved and there was no need for the letter. Jones says he can't remember the specifics of the letter but it pertained to the dispute over payment.
Jones says that in grand jury he testified to that. Evelyn asks if it was about timing of the payment. Jones says he can't remember if it was. African American Association of Business Contractors now discussed. Evelyn says Ferguson was supposedly point person for the organization. Interview with federal agents on January 9th of this year where he discussed Ferguson being appointed Kwame's point person on the organization.
Jones says he worked with his brother at one point. Jones says he was at Ferguson's offices to play basketball. Evelyn says that Ferguson would sometimes have pickup basketball games for contractors. Jones says that he went more than once for sporting events and even sprained his ankle there once. Jones says that he is not sure if his brother ever went out socially with Ferguson but he went out people in Kwame's administration.
Jones says he spoke to Ferguson before he spoke with Mr. Turner of Turner Construction who partnered on a school project. Jones apparently told Ferguson that he should "tow the line or get fired" and that he would squash him like a bug. Evelyn asks if the witness agrees he said this to Ferguson. Jones says him and anyone else who didn't perform.
9:40AM Eric Doeh redirects for the government. Discussing Requests for Proposals (RFP). Jones says he spoke to Derrick Miller, Christine Beatty, Sean Werdlow and others about not getting work. 9:41AM Evelyn re-crosses.
Jones saying that the Detroit Economic Growth Corp stole his employee. Evelyn asks if Jones contacted Mr. Miles about getting work who was with DEGC. Jones says he socialized with Miles but never discussed work.