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 66 at the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse. Seems we will be hearing from former Detroit City Council member Sharon McPhail who will be testifying for the defense. Once a very vocal opponent of Kwame Kilpatrick's, the former councilwoman has become a supporter of his in recent years. She has been subpoenaed to testify in this trial.
9:01AM Looks like counsel has left the courtroom again, likely for Judge Nancy Edmunds's chambers.
Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick are sitting together waiting for morning proceedings to begin. No sighting of Bobby Ferguson just yet.
9:04AM In saunters Bobby carrying a briefcase and makes his way to the defendants' table.
9:15AM It's musical chairs time and Kwame moves back over to sit next to Bobby. Another late start this morning with most be yet another evidenciary issue.
9:35AM Still waiting!
9:37AM Finally, the lawyers are back and everyone takes their place in the courtroom.
But now Kwame and Bobby have left the room and the judge has still not entered so we are obviously not set to go yet. These lengthy delays are becoming par for the course these days.
9:41AM Judge enters and says they have met to discuss evidenciary matters and the ending of the trial. Judge says she needs enough to be able to do a Rule 29. Lawyers have until Friday to submit whatever else they need to.
There is McPhail standing behind the defendants' table.
Jury enters and judge apologizes to them. Tells them that she has been meeting with counsel for an hour to wrap things up. Judge says testimony of defense witnesses should wrap by Wednesday. Thursday and Friday will be off so that judge and counsel can prepare for the end of the trial. Closing arguments start Monday.
9:46AM Sharon McPhail takes the stand. Superintendent of Detroit community schools is her current position. Witness started at Northeastern University for law school but finished law studies at University of Michigan. Started professional life at Ford as counsel, then was a US Attorney for awhile, worked with Wayne County prosecutors office for 10 years. Ran for mayor in general election against Dennis Archer. Served a term on City Council- 2002 to 2005.
McPhail ran for mayor in 2005. Didn't make it through primary- that was Hendrix and Kilpatrick who did.
McPhail agrees that Kwame was an underdog in that race as he was 38 points behind. She threw her support behind Kwame at that point.
Witness looking at newspaper article on vote recount at the end of December 2005.
McPhail describing City Council process as related to contracting. the Council authorizes budget and line items. Contracts come back to City Council for approval and they are voted on. Each City Council member has as much staff as their budget allows.
McPhail says she wouldn't says she investigated contracts. If they had questions, they'd write them on a memo they would then place on the table and wait for answers.
McPhail says she knows a little about the DWSD contracting process. Knew about the special administrator process.
Witness knows that the Council handled some of the DWSD contracts.
Looking at professional service transmittal contract for DWSD. McPhail says it looks familiar to her and it's the type of document she would see when it would go through City Council.
Jim Thomas asks if she remembers contract 1368 amendment #4. No says McPhail.
McPhail recognizes signature of Victor Mercado, then director of the DWSD. Knew of him but didn't really know him.
Thomas asks what was going on in McPhail's life in August 2005.
McPhail appears confused. "Politically," says Thomas.