Former Kilpatrick foe, Sharon McPhail, expected to testify

Sharon McPhail, Kwame Kilpatrick's former general counsel, expected to testify in trial against ex-Detroit mayor

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

DETROIT - Sharon McPhail's simple answer is that she has no qualms about testifying in the trial against former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

After more than 60 days of testimony from federal prosecutors, it is the defense team's turn on Thursday. McPhail is one of the first witnesses the defense is expected to call upon. However, she doesn't believe she will be in court for long as a character witness for Kilpatrick.

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McPhail never saw the alleged shakedowns for thousands of dollars or cases of Cristal champagne, and she has no apprehension about being called to testify. However, she can't help but view the whole mess as tragic.

"I was so busy working, you know, I had three departments to redesign, and I was so busy at that stuff that I never even heard. If there was something going on, it wasn't something I would have been involved in," she said. "This is very depressing, very sad. This brilliant, wonderful young man who was becoming such a statesman, and he really was, you had to know that if you were there and watching him, and for this to have happened."

McPhail doesn't believe she will be called as a character witness.

"As I understand it, they're going to ask me about things that I did while I worked there. What I saw, in terms of the actual work," she said.

The one-time mayoral candidate and Detroit City Councilwoman had a tumultuous relationship with Kilpatrick before she ultimately agreed to work as general counsel for his administration. It was a job she said she took on two conditions -- conditions that Kilpatrick honored.

"One: I will not report to Christine (Beatty), which I didn't, and two: These are the things I want to do. Are you OK with that?" she said.

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