DETROIT - Earlier this week, former Detroit chief operating officer Derrick Miller took a plea deal that will have him testify against his former boss and lifelong friend Kwame Kilpatrick.
What Miller plead to suggests there are more unpleasant surprises about Kilpatrick's run as Detroit mayor.
Federal prosecutors released documents detailing Miller's plea deal. The documents show Miller will spend the next 10 years in federal prison after he testifies against the former Detroit mayor for tax evasion.
Heads are turning on the numbers behind the tax case and how Miller got the cash. Miller made himself a millionaire by playing both ends against the middle while working as Kilpatrick's top aide.
The federal prosecutors said that in 2007, Miller claimed $250,000 on his tax return. However, he hid and did not declare a whole lot more.
He was acting as a real estate consultant, prosecutors said, and in one deal he pocketed $115,000 from a real estate broker.
In another deal, prosecutors say Miller hauled in more than $500,000 that involved Detroit's pension board. Moreover, in a third deal, he pocketed just less than $50,000 for a total of $750,000 that he did not declare on his taxes.
"It's staggering the damage that has been done," said former City Council member Sheila Cockrel.
Cockrel served one year on the Detroit pension board. She was involved in cleaning up a messy mult-million-dollar loss that the board suffered after giving a loan for a company to buy five General Motors parts Warehouses that GM leased back right before the company went into bankruptcy.
"The pension board is not a bank," she said.
More than $500,000 went to Miller who worked as a consultant on the deal with GM. Cockrel said Miller's youth and greed wasted a great opportunity.
"To squander it for personal gain is beyond reprehensible," she said. "It is horrifying in terms of what the abuse has lead to and done to the very fabric of city government."
Miller, 41, who now lives in McLean, Va., admitted accepting $10,000 from a contractor who got millions from the federal government to install security cameras in Detroit. He also said he pressured other contractors to give business to Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson, who specialized in excavation and demolition.
Miller is among five people facing a 38-count indictment alleging bribery and racketeering charges. Others charged are Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and Victor Mercado.
Copyright 2003 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.