DETROIT - The defense team in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial sought to discredit government witness Karl Kado Monday by accusing him of suffering from lapses in memory due to dementia.
Read Blog:What happend in court on Tuesday.
Detroit businessman Kado testified yesterday to being extorted by former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and former mayoral aide Derrick Miller. Kado said he paid them at least $360,000 in an attempt to secure Cobo Hall contracts. And little good it seemed to do.
The businessman testified yesterday that after a final $100,000 payment in 2005 to Bernard Kilpatrick towards his son's mayoral campaign, he ultimately lost the cleaning and electrical contracts he was seeking.
Jim Thomas, defense lawyer for former mayor Kilpatrick, started his cross examination of the witness by asking if he was working for the government. Kado replied somewhat self-righteously, "I'm working for the truth."
Thomas then got Kado to admit that he had told the government on more than one occasion this year, as recently as September 11th when jury selection in the trial was already underway, that he feared his memory was failing him and that he might actually be suffering from dementia.
Kado further admitted that he sometimes forgot what day of the week it was and where he was going.
"Would you say your memory today is better than 11 years ago?" asked Thomas.
"It is much worse," conceded Kado.
Kado told the court that he had talked to a doctor about his possible condition and even had a test performed for it but fell short of saying whether he had officially been diagnosed.
Thomas managed to trip up Kado on a few details including whether $10,000 he gave to Miller was delivered in a brown paper bag, as he testified yesterday, or in an envelope according to interviews with government agents.
He also pressed Kado for specifics of the alleged money transactions with Kwame Kilpatrick and the witness seemed unclear as to amounts, locations and who may or may not have been present at the meetings.
When asked about the first time that the former Detroit mayor came to his downtown office to collect money, Kado initially said it was in winter because he remembered asking someone to come shovel the snow.
But then a few minutes later Kado contradicted himself by saying that the meeting took place in August 2003.
"Sir, didn't you tell me it was wintertime?" asked an incredulous Thomas.
The witness deflected the question by answering that was another meeting.
Earlier in the morning, Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea also poked at the holes in Kado's memory.
Shea said that without payment records or receipts, Kado seemed to have no clear idea as to how much he had actually paid Bernard. In testimony yesterday, Kado said he had paid him somewhere between $200,000 and $300,000. Yet in interviews with government agents, Kado told one it was between $250,000 and $290,000 and another that it was between $180,000 and $230,000.
"So you don't have an exact amount. You've said as low as $180,000 and as high as high $300,000?" asked Shea. Yes replied the witness.
As for the $85,000 unpaid lottery ticket bill Kado testified that Bernard ran up at his brother's store, Shea questioned why he told an FBI agent it was only $20,000. Kado explained that amount was an intial one for the summer of 2005 but that there was a subsequent amount for $85,000.
Shea worked hard to make the case that Bernard Kilpatrick was paid for services rendered to the Detroit businessman including attempts to help him secure cleaning and electrical contracts.
Kado also discussed how he was forced to partner with Miller's sister, Ladarla Easley, on an electrical contract.
The witness said he contacted Bernard after Easley attempted to get monthly payments out of him.
In a heavy Middle Eastern accent, Kado clarified why he sought Bernard out.
"It was not help. I was preferring to deal with one extortion instead of two," said Kado about paying Bernard to get Easley off his back.
Court resumes Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
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