Jury hears secret phone calls between Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, Bobby Ferguson

Federal prosecutors hope recordings, texts show jury that former Detroit mayor, his father and Bobby Ferguson worked shady deals for millions of dollars

By Kevin Dietz - Reporter


As federal investigators closed in, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was careful.

The FBI was listening in on his father Bernard Kilpatrick's phone calls. On Tuesday, the jury heard a recording of Kwame Kilpatrick calling to warn his father, saying "stay away from the little white guy."

Federal investigators say the father and son were talking about Kwame's 5-foot-4 political aide Michael Tardif, who the feds had contacted. Kwame Kilpatrick did not use Tardif's name in case the investigators were listening.

Trial blog: Secret recordings played in Kilpatrick trial

In another call, Bernard Kilpatrick said he was headed to Orlando, Fla. and needed some cash. He told defendant Bobby Ferguson to keep $2,000 in his back pocket in case Bernard needs extra cash.

"All of it is going to be in the jury's hands here shortly, and fortunately they get to make the decision, not the press," said defense attorney Mike Rataj, representing Bobby Ferguson.

Ferguson called Bernard Kilpatrick "pops" during the calls, the same thing Kwame Kilpatrick calls his father. The federal prosecutors are trying to show the jury that the three were in it together.

The final evidence presented in the case are new text messages. In one text message Kwame is headed to the Super Bowl and needs cash for tickets. Ferguson gave him the combination to his safe, saying there was $7,500 inside. In another text, Ferguson says, "I have my passport. Let's get out of the country."

In a third text, Ferguson says to Kwame, "I'm famous. I just need to get some money." Kwame responded with, "Let's get you some." Ferguson added, "Us."

-- Bernard Kilpatrick and Kwame Kilpatrick

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