DETROIT -

David Zacks was a defense lawyer just doing his job for a notorious conman named Ken Weiner.

During a meeting in 1990 with his defense team and prosecutors, Weiner escaped from police custody.

Archive footage: David Zacks, Kenneth Weiner, and Coleman Young's Krugerrands

He fooled a lot of people. He was a civilian Detroit deputy police chief, a confidante of Mayor Coleman Young and eventually a convicted swindler.

Five days before Wiener's fraud trial was to begin, Zacks and other defense lawyers were trying to work out a plea deal. Weiner was brought from the federal prison in Milan to his defense lawyer's office in Bloomfield Township. He and his lawyers were going to work out a plea deal with prosecutors, but Local 4 reporter Chris Hansen described what happened next.

"Weiner slipped away, grabbed the car keys of a van owned by another attorney, walked down the back stairs of the building and into building's garage," Hansen reported.

A moment earlier, a secretary had asked where Ken was. He was gone. Zacks felt betrayed.

"And literally at the 11th hour, he abused our confidence and trust and abused us," said Zacks.

The Weiner case had put Mayor Young on the hot seat. He privately owned a company called Detroit Technology and Investments. Weiner was part of it and said he had purchased South African Kruggerands for the mayor.

"I could tell you that I never saw a Kruggerand in my life. And it would not be a lie, it would be true," said Mayor Young.

Meanwhile, Weiner was a free man for about an hour. Having been double-crossed by his client, Zacks was allowed to withdraw from the case. Weiner was eventually convicted on 40 counts of swindling victims in a Ponzi scheme.


David Zacks is pictured on the right in 1990.