9AM Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson enter an already full courtroom together moments before session is due to start.
9:02AM Judge enters the courtroom. Sidebar is called.
9:03AM Jurors are seated.
9:04AM Government calls Charles Robert Berg to the stand.
Michale Bullotta questions for the government. Currently owns a PR firm in Detroit. Owned it over 14 years. Berg Muirhead and Associates- do pr, community relations for a variety of organizations. also work with political candidates. Prior to this, worked as press secretary for Coleman Young for 11 years and former governor Miliken. Worked in media for UPI.
In April 2001, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick called and asked for his help in Kwame's mayoral run. PR, political strategy and media relations for the campaign. His fee was $15,000 a month. worked May through October.
9:08AM KCF 5- invoices from Berg's firm to Kilpatrick for Mayor campaign.
KCF 6- 2 checks. Made out to Berg Muirhead and Associates. Went to pay for invoices shown.
Checks cut from Kilpatrick Civic Fund, dated July 24 2001. Amount is $5,000. signed by Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick. Beatty was very active in the campaign says the witness.
2nd check for $5,000 also from Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Dated August 21st 2001. Witness not quite sure what the Civic Fund was or involved in.
Berg helped with media relations, speechwriting, worked with advertising agencies and overall strategy. Overall goal to have Kwame elected.
Familiar with Lake Snell and Perry- got involved with campaign when Berg called Celinda Lake of the firm and asked them to get involved. Lake is highly respected nationally.
Pollsters hired to get feel for public opinion, to identify issues that public is interested in.
Berg worked with Daniel Gotoff. didn't meet him until last Friday. But spoke to him several times on the phone in 2001. They did several polls and initially identified fact that there was opening for Kwame to be mayor.
There were several polls done and some focus groups.
Other payments made to Berg Muirhead. Can't remember which entity paid them.
Berg did not do work for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
9:15AM Jim Thomas for Kwame cross-examines.
Thomas asks when he first started working for Kilpatricks? His mother's first campaign for congress in 1996. A successful campaign.
Berg first met Kwame during mother's campaign. Started mayoral election for him around April 2001.
Berg believes announced for running of mayor in May 2001.
Fees generated were approximately $90,000? Berg says think so but didn't start work in April.
Thomas asks if billings were in excess of $50,000. Berg says he thinks so.
Thomas looks at 2 checks submitted by government this morning.
Berg says generally checks were given to them in an envelope. To him or Muirhead but doesn't specifically remember receiving those checks.
Berg says main point of contact either Kwame or Beatty.
The decision to give 2 checks for $5,000 each from KCF, Thomas asks if Berg was involved in the decisions to cut those checks? No.
Berg says he didn't have contract with Civic Fund.
Thomas asks if government asked for other checks that came. No says Berg.
Thomas says wasn't Kwame's image for Civic Fund important? Yes says Berg.
Thomas says as PR wouldn't you be involved in promoting his image? Yes.
Do you remember any issues that arose late spring with John Rutherford. Yes, it was long time ago. Newspapers began asking about contributions that Rutherford made to Civic fund. Rutherford owned homeless shelter.
Thomas says media concerned about propriety for that? Yes.
That would have related to Kilpatrick, Civic Fund and image? Yes.
What would a PR person do when it relates to something negative? Berg says they ended up meeting with reporters in question.
Thomas says you had to get up to speed on what was being said and come up with an explanation why it was appropriate for money to go to Civic Fund? Yes says witness.
Berg doesn't remember dates this would have happened- Thomas had asked if it was late spring or early summer.
Thomas approaches witness with 2 documents. Asks Berg to look them over, which he does.
9:28AM Does that refresh your recollection about timeframe of Rutherford matter? This is dated August 29th says witness.
Thomas says would you agree with me that the issue was mixed, related to Civic Fund and campaign? Berg says yes.
Thomas says you told jury you worked on Civic Fund and timeframe.
Bullotta objects. Judge asks Thomas to restate question.
Did you do work on Civic Fund issue? In my mind, we were doing work on the campaign.
Didn't you meet with Beatty about Civic Fund? Met with her but I don't remember specifics.
Do you remember William Phillips and meeting with him about Rutherford matter? Remember him but don't remember those meetings.
Thomas says these checks clearly made out from Kilpatrick Civic Fund and deposited into your account and funded? Yes.
You didn't go back and say you gave me check from wrong checking account? No.
Berg says normally when you receive check like that you give to to accountant and don't care what account it is drawn from.
You devoted time and energy to that issue? Yes.
Do you know if Civic Fund had Board of Directors? Yes but don't remember who was on it.
Did you know Gregory Terrell? Yes.
Did you know if he was on the board? No.
What about William Phillips asks Thomas? Don't remember any specific conversations about this issue says Berg.
Thomas asks if Berg understands distinction between survey and tracking poll? Yes.
Thomas relates back to Kwame's image and how Civic Fund impacts that. Thomas references exhibit KCF A. Berg says he recognizes it, looks like the beginning of first survey done by Lake Snell. Berg was involved.
Thomas says Lake Snell involved as early as May 1st or 3rd of 2001. Yes says Berg.
Thomas asks if it appears to be candidate or issue specific. Issue specific says Berg.
Thomas points out page in survey with public officials which checks for favorability- at least 13, right? Yes says Berg.
What is purpose asks Thomas? To gage public opinion on the public officials.
You want to know what people think of other people to educate them about issues involved? Yes.
There were people not running for mayor listed? Yes say Berg.
Thomas asks if Berg knows purpose of Civic Fund? Not in any detail.
Already told us you don't know distinctions between 501 c3 and 501c4? Right.
Did you interact with Conrad Mallett? Yes he was campaign Chair.
How many people involved from your firm? 5 or 6.
Could a non-profit hire a pollster? Yes says Berg.
When you were advising on Rutherford wouldn't that have related to a non-profit? Yes.
And you were paid by non-profit? Yes.
9:44AM Bullotta redirects.
Did you know about Rutherford issue before press reported it? No says Berg.
First article that came out? August 29th 2001.
When is first checks dated? July 24th.
And second check also came about 8 days before article appeared? Yes.
So in your mind where you being paid these checks to somehow assist Civic fund? No our focus totally on the campaign.
In the surveys being done by Lake Snell questions? The questions are pretty standard for any candidate. Need to know that for voters you will be appealing to.
As part of Lake Snell work did they do focus groups? Yes.
Did they test out advertising? Don't remember but pretty normal thing to do.
If they did, why would they? To see if they are effective.
Would they be candidate specific? Yes.
9:47AM Thomas redirects.
Thomas says someone else other than you decided to pay out of Civic Fund? Yes.
Thomas hands out documents to witness and asks him if he recognizes check? No.
Do you recognize signature? No.
Who is John Rutherford? Owner of Homeless Shelter.
Do you remember issue coming up in close proximity when check was issued? No I don't remember how far before August 29th issue came up.
Could have been months? Doubt it because newspapers don't tend to wait months says Berg.
Well wasn't it extensive article that might have involved research? Yes.
It was an issue you were aware of in summer of 2001? Yes.
Berg says where check came from isn't something he spent a lot of time on.
Berg excused by judge.
9:52AM Government calls Tracy Walker. Judge swears her in. Witness takes her seat.
Currently an information officer at Wayne State University for the Medical School. Over the years, worked with Pistons in community relations from 1991-2000, had her own business and worked for Carolyn Cheeks Killpatrick from January 2006 to December 2010.
Bullotta asks if she met Kwame in 2001? Yes. children went to the same school, A Step Ahead.
Walker says she saw him there but met him at another meeting.
At some point did you learn Kwame wanted to run for mayor? I did because he told me.
In 2001 sometime? Yes.
What were you doing in 2001? Had my own firm, Contact sports. Mostly did PR for non profts and sports organizations.
At some point were you hired by candidate Kilpatrick? Yes. My partner had met someone who heard that he was interested in setting up a meeting. Sandra Ware was her partner. Walker was hired and there was a contract.
Walker was charged with helping raise his profile and create a favorable impression. To make a person more known and the issues known. Involved in getting him more media exposure.
Walker says her goal was to make sure he got elected.
What did you do to raise his profile? We wrote press releases and pitched stories to the media, Ebony, the Today Show, Savoy. Also Tom Joyner's syndicated radio show- the Sky show.
Were you able to get him in those magazines? Yes.
Before he was mayor? Yes.
Did you prepare media kit? yes.
What's in it? Head shot, a biography some career highlights.
Was that part of the work you did? Yes.
Want to show you KCF 7- do you recognize it? Yes an invoice from Contact sports to Kwame Kilpatrick.
Do you recognize 2 checks one for 7k and the second for a little more than 7k? Yes.
Looking at invoice on overhead. Dated March 4th 2002 from Contact Sports. It was Past Due.. Description lists work to the amount of $21,000. $14,000 had been received and balance due $7,975.95.
Was it paid off on November 05 2002 was for $7,975.95? Yes.
Who is the check written from? Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Did you get another check on August 28th 2001 for $7,000 also from Civic Fund? Yes.
Looks like it was deposited? Yes.
Did you ever do work for the Kilpatrick Civic fund that you know of? I don't know.
But your goal was to raise his profile to get him elected? Yes.
One of the checks indicates "Hold for discussion for mayor"
10:07AM Jim Thomas cross examines.
What does Contact sports do? Well we "did" because company no longer exists. coordinated special events, got more media exposure through press releases, media kits, pitches. Every once in awhile cold calling.
Did you know that other PR firms also worked with mayor? Yes.
Did you work with them? Mostly worked on our own.
Walker says they were engaged January 2001.
Contract provides for payment of funds over a year? Yes.
Looks like you split up in 3 payments. Yes.
Did he tell you he wanted to raise his image? Yes.
10:11AM Thomas asks Walker to look at document. Do you recognize it? Yes.
Is it the contract from January 8th 2001? Yes.
Thomas puts document on overhead. Document dated January 8th but made effective January 1st 2001.
Services were to provide 20 hours of PR services to Kwame Kilpatrick including handling speaking requests. The contract agreement with Contact Sports clearly states "The services include but are not limited to, creating and distributing press packages, researching speaking opportunities, handling speaking requests, scheduling speaking engagements and assisting with coordination of promotions and community relations efforts related to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund and/or Democratic Caucus as needed."
Did you provide services for the Civic Fund? We may have. That's what the contract says.
In the media kit, did you talk about things you thought were important for Kilpatrick? Yes.
Who put it together? My partner and I.
Was it extensive? Yes.
Do you remember putting together a "Go TV" message script? No I don't.
Do you remember putting out a PR initiative as relates to that? I don't remember but it's possible.
When did you finish working for Kilpatrick? December 2001.
Not April 2001? No.
Do you remember anything you entered as relates running for mayor? No says witness.
10:20AM Bullotta redirects.
Was the highlighter there when you signed contract? I can't say that could have been there.
Was yellow highlighting there asks the judge? As in the marker. Oh no says witness.
Did you ever do press releases for Kilpatrick Civic Fund? Not that I recall.
The media kit, did that include a description of the Civic Fund? Not that I remember.
What was your ultimate goal asks Bullotta? Originally when he first hired us, it was to raise Kwame Kilpatrick's profile. Then when he announced candidacy for mayor, it was to help get him elected.
10:23AM Thomas redirects.
Contract says nothing about running for mayor but says Kilpatrick Civic Fund? Yes.
There is a spill over effect because you can't separate Kwame from his image? Yes.
Was most of the work between months of January and June? Not necessarily.
The bulk of work with articles to ebony and Savoy before June? Yes.
Thomas says he is done. Witness is excused and Judge call for 20 minute break.
10:45AM Nearing end of the break. Courtroom has filled up again as everyone awaits the judge.
Kwame, in yet another bow tie, talks to defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn as Bobby Ferguson scribbles notes.
10:48AM Judge re-enters courtroom.
Government calls Virginia Harvey.
Jennifer Blackwell for the government.
Judge calls for everyone to be seated. Witness is sworn in.
Harvey works at Peter Hart Research, public opinion polling, in DC. Been there nearly 20 years and is Chief Financial Officer. Financial management, lease negotiations.
Hired in 2005 by Kilpatrick for Mayor Campaign? Yes.
Witness did surveys and focus groups.
What did surveys consist of? Telephone surveys of voters. about 500.
As a result, a report was generated. Senior analyst Frederick Yang generated it. the survey was of voters in the Detroit area.
Exhibit KCF 36- memorandum from Mr. Yang to the Kilpatrick Campaign. Witness turns to page 5- it's the invoice. Page prior is email from witness to the campaign, it went to the Kilpatrick for Mayor campaign. Next page is attached invoice to the campaign. Then it is an email from Yang to witness and controller. The next page is email from witness to Christine Beatty and revised invoice.
Looking at page 2 of KCF 36- dated September 13th 2005. Regarding findings fo poll in 2005. Memorandum from Mr. Yang.
Memorandum finding says difficult time for mayor. "The road to November 8th. Beating Hendrix will be very tough given the candidates' profiles, the electorate's devastation and relatively short time frame until the general election."
"But the positive can only take us so far given the numbers...."
Recommendations from Yang: 1- set positive edge. Shows him fighting against foe and winning.
Blackwell asks for page 5 of the exhibit. Witness says it's an email from her to the campaign for $26,500.
Invoice for $26,500.
Email dated October 12th 2005. Asks client to resubmit and send it to Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Another email from witness to Christine Beatty with revised invoice. Client listed as Kilpatrick Civic Fund. For $26,500.
Has Peter Hart research done work for Kilpatrick Civic fund? No.
KCF 35- check of the payment received. Dated October 19th 2005 from Kilpatrick Civic Fund. signed by Christine Beatty and Derrick Miller.
Other services done for mayor? Yes.