Kwame Kilpatrick trial: Long days ahead

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DETROIT - Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick's dad Bernard Kilpatrick and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. Each day we bring you information from inside federal court as it happens.

9:00AM Packed courtroom this morning. Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom and asks for a quick sidebar to go over some issues before the jury enters.

It was quite a day yesterday as government witness Karl Kado took the stand. Kado has been ferried to and from the courthouse by an FBI escort. Kado testified yesterday to paying out at least $360,000 to ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and former mayoral aide Derrick Miller.

There is talk in the courthouse that Mondays and Fridays will now run to 8 hours of testimony instead of 4 obviously to cut down the possible length of the trial.

John Shea, Bernard's lawyer, will continue his cross-examination of businessman Kado. It will be interesting to see how the defense will further try to discredit the witness.

9:05AM Shea begins cross.

Discussing first meeting with FBI Bob Beeckman about Cobo Hall operations in 2005.

Involved you discussing with Beeckman the various interests you had in Cobo Hall? Yes.

Target letter comes in early September 2005? Yes.

You realized you were in trouble? Yes.

Letter says call me if you want to discuss a plea bargain? Kado demurs. Can't seem to remember.

Looking at the letter on the overhead. Letter states the possibility of discussing plea bargain.

You next met in February 22 2006? Yes.

You signed a cooperation agreement with them that day? I'm not sure. I don't remember.

Does the letter refresh your memory that on February 22 2006 that you signed a plea bargain? Yes.

You've known Bernard since when? I don't know long time. Early 80s.

You met him in connection to opening your store? Yes.

Over time you became friends? Yes.

Did you know he worked for Ed McNammara? Yes.

You know that he was experienced politically? Yes.

That his former wife had various political posiitions? Yes.

Did you know that he had been a Wayne county commisioner at one time? Yes.

He shopped at your store so frequently that you extended him aine of credit at your store? No.

Do you recall telling the agents in this case that you let Bernard buy things on credit at the store? No.

You don't remember telling the agents that you extended him credit and then he would pay you every week or 2? No.

Might I refresh your memory with a document from March 28th 2007? Yes. Kado reads over the document.

Does that help you remember now? Yes.

So you did extend Mr. Kilpatrick credit at your store? Yes.

You had many business interests in Cobo Hall: a sundries business? Yes.

Also had additional temporary stores? Yes.

You were also a partner with Ogden for general food business at Cobo Hall? Yes.

That involved you and Ogden operating a business for a bar and restaurant at Cobo Hall? Yes.

Additionally there was catering involved? Yes. There was a sitdown bar but no sitdown restaurant.

You also had ambitions on additional business interests that might come up at Cobo Hall? Right.

Around the time Mayor Kilpatrick was elected? Yes.

You heard the electrical contract for Cobo Hall might be coming up? Yes.

You also had concerns when Kilpatrick became mayor that Mr. Pavledes might be replaced as director of Cobo Hall? Yes.

You saw Bernard as someone important who could represent your interests with the city? Yes.

Obviously he knew people in the administration? Yes.

You asked Bernard various times for his assistance? Yes.

And you agreed to pay him for that? Yes.

You thought he would provide you that assistance for free?

Didn't you in fact have an understand with Bernard that you were going to pay him and he was going to provide him services? For what asks Kado.

For example, you asked Bernard to help keep Pavledes? Yes.

You never asked him to act on your behalf of the janitorial contract?

You knew that Pavledes had to give it to you. It couldn't just be approved.

9:22AM Memo dated February 4th 2004 submitted by US Attorney Bullotta yesterday. Talks about increase to Kado for janitorial contract. agreement was effective June 14th 2002.

Shea says that you asked Bernard to advance your interests with the electrical contracts? Yes.

There were other people interested in the electrical contracts? Yes.

Namely Ladarla Easley, Derrick Miller's sister, wanted those contracts? Yes. Ladarla Easley wanted to get the contracts. "I was forced to take her as a partner because she was Derrick Miller's sister."

You contacted Bernard about Ladarla Easley sniffing around the contract? No.

Kado says she wanted to take some money, "extortion", every month.

She couldn't interfere with the contract says Kado but he asked Bernard to keep Easley out of his way.

"It was not help. I was preferring to deal with one extortion instead of 2," says Kado about paying Bernard to get Easley off his back.

Shea askls do you remember telling agent Beeckman that you wanted Bernard's help in dealing with Easley? Yes.

Isn't it true that you never told Beeckman that you paid Bernard to give Ladarla Easley?

You were paying Bernard for services he was providing you? He was not providing any services for me says Kado.

10:03AM You ended up seeking Bernard's assistance to get this money? I cut my relationship with Mr. Kilpatrick in June 2005. I gave him $100,000 for election of the mayor and after that I had no connection with him.

Kado says he was told to call him by the feds to arrange the meeting.

Shea says he didn't know you had a hidden purpose when you arranged this meeting? Bernard Kilpatrick didn't know you were recording him? Sure he didn't know.

You testified yesterday you were owed $1.6 million on cleaning contract. $800,000 on electrical contract and $962k on renovation of building? Yes.

You believed they owed you that money? Yes.

At the request of government you sought meeting with Bernard? Yes.

But you had said you were owed between $200 and $250k on cleaning how did that become $1.6 million? That was only for the equipment. I sued them and ended up getting $70, 00 in settlement.

Why did you tell Bernard you were owed only $250,000? That's what you wanted him to collect? Yes.

So you didn't ask him to collect the $1.6 million? Yes.

Listening to another recording excerpt. Prosecutors conveniently forgot transcripts at the office.

Shea is going to listen to the transcript of the recording instead of playing it for the jury so they can follow it better.

From Tom's Oyster Bar meeting in February 2008.

Kado says 1.6 million dollars and tells Bernard he will give him $160,000 in cash. Kado had added up the numbers to get to the $1.6 million.

Mr. Kado isn't true you were totaling up the money you wanted collected from the city of Detroit and you came up with $1.6 million?

What you told Mr. Kilpatrick you would do is pay him 10% of what he collected? Yes.

Why did you tell government yesterday that you were owed $962,000 when you also said $574,000?

Isn't it true that Mr. Kilpatrick was trying to assist you with these collections before February 2008? Yes.

10:18AM Listening to conversation from February 4th 2008. Between Bernard and Kado. Bernard tells him he talked to "all these folks." Where are you asks Kado? At home says Bernard. Plan to meet at 3:30pm at Tom's.

In that conversation Bernard let you know he had done some work? Yes.

And you didn't want to talk on the phone? Yes.

2 days later you had another phone conversation where you suggested meeting at Tom's on February 8th 2008? Yes.

At the time there was no deal between you on what he would be paid? Yes.

After that conversation, Mr. Kilpatrick continued to do work on those claims? Yes.

He met with Amru Meah. Mr. Kilpatrick asked you to provide him with additional info he could share with the city to substantiate your claims? Yes.

He asked you for invoices on electrical contracts? Yes.

A few days before your March 1st meeting with Bernard, you called him to suggest it at the breakfast spot? Yes.

Shea collecting transcripts to pass to the jury. Bernard asks him if he can "get that thing". Bernard tells him has had a meeting with Amru (director of Building & Safety engineering) that afternoon and wants the "electrical thing spelled out." Asks Kado to drop it off with his brother. Kado says not today I have to prepare it. "It's like 30 pages." Bernard says ok I'll let him know the number and that I'll have the stuff Friday.

Shea says it's not in this conversation but within a day or 2 of that had the breakfast meeting that was played in court.

10:29AM Judge says this might be a good moment to take a break.

10:45AM Still on break. Most of the defense is still down on the first floor outside the snack shop except form John Shea who is pacing the courtroom, probably trying not to lose any momentum.

Seems that the jury is not as engaged as they were yesterday. They are following closely but not doing quite as much note taking as they did yesterday. Honestly, I don't know how they can keep up with all the recordings and transcripts.

Bernard Kilpatrick, in a mustard sports coat, dark vest and pants, is conferring with his lawyer Shea. Bobby Ferguson in a summery beige suit and tie takes his seat back at the table.

Last of the defendants back from break is Kwame Kilpatrick who quietly takes a seat at his corner as he observes his lawyer Jim 10:45AM Still on break. Most of the defense is still down on the first floor outside the snack shop except form John Shea who is pacing the courtroom, probably trying not to lose any momentum.
Seems that the jury is not as engaged as they were yesterday. They are following closely but not doing quite as much note taking as they did yesterday. Honestly, I don't know how they can keep up with all the recordings and transcripts.
Bernard Kilpatrick, in a mustard sports coat, dark vest and pants, is conferring with his lawyer Shea. Bobby Ferguson in a summery beige suit and tie takes his seat back at the table.
Last of the defendants back from break is Kwame Kilpatrick who quietly takes a seat at his corner as he observes his lawyer Jim Thomas talk to US Attorney Michael Bullotta.
10:52AM Judge Edmunds calls court back into session.
Shea steps back to the podium and gets ready to take up his cross-examination.
Shea says we established that Bernard started work before first recorded conversation at Tom's Oyster Bar on February 8th 2008? Yes.
And he continued doing work after that? Yes.
The financial terms didn't get set until first meeting of February 8th 2008? Yes.
Kado looking at transcript of February 8th 2008 meeting at Tom's Oyster Bar. Shea refers him to page 9. Kado asks Bernard how much he wants. Bernard says how much is fair. They agree on 10%- Kado's offer.
Bernard doesn't demand 10%, you offer it? Yes says Kado.
Now page 12 of the transcript of Tom's Oyster Bar conversation on the overhead.
Talking about how much to give to Archie. Bernard says "he (Archie) wanna be the guy the go between." Kado says he won't pay anything before he gets the money. Bernard says he wouldn't expect it.
Times on the transcript are not well indicated.
Shea says you set the terms of what you were going to pay and when you were going to pay it and he tells you he wants to be paid by check? Yes.
March 1st breakfast meeting comes along and you renege on the deal and you tell him to stop work and leave it alone? Yes.
Shea confers with the government on the transcript. March 1st meeting. Bernard says "so now you tell me you don't want to pay me." Kado says "But I didn't get anything." Kado finishes by saying he doesn't want to get paid it doesn't matter. This was all played yesterday. His portion was not. Discusses how the bill was with the mayor. Bernard says you're not gonna pay me and Kado says "because I cannot." Bernard says you're choosing not to do it. The two men part ways outside the restaurant.
Shea says you clearly said you weren't going to pay Bernard and to stop working? Yes.
To the best of your knowledge he starts working? Yes.
And a few weeks you call him back and ask him to start working again? You have the transcript asks Kado?
This is the recording from that later conversation on March 19th 2008. "Everything doesn't work without your help" says Kado to Bernard. "I thought you told me to leave it alone!" says Bernard. Kado tells him he talked to Amru. Kado says he has to pay his taxes $770,000 in 10 days. "Whatever you have to do" says Kado.
11:16AM Shea says Bernard assisted in getting an Amru Meah meeting? Yes.
March 26th 2008 recording. "BK!" says Kado. Bernard says he's doing his exercise. Kado asks Bernard to make his meeting with amru faster because he has to pay his taxes. Bernard says he will move it up and set it up that afternoon.
You're still cooperating with government at this point? Yes.
You haven't told Bernard and that's why these conversations are recorded? Yes. Some of them were recorded without my knowledge says Kado.
You were really owed the money, weren't you? Yes says Kado.
You weren't trying to defraud the city; you really felt you were owed it? Yes.
Turns out after all this Bernard was not able to convince the city to pay you? I don't know.
You used Bernard to give you assistance for some months? Yes.
So obviously he didn't have the juice you thought he had? Yes.
And he didn't get paid either? Yes.
And he was doing this against the wishes of other people in the administration? Yes.
You felt that Derrick Miller was keeping from getting paid because he thought you were cooperating with the government? Yes.
So instead of being in collusion with the people in the administration, he (Bernard) is trying to help you? Yes.
In early 2008 you were still on the food service contract? Yes.
And you were in partnership with Arrowmark? Yes.
They are a big company but they need to partner with someone local and that is what you were doing through Ogden? Yes.
Ogden sold its share to Arrowmark? Yes.
That contract was going to expire in April 2008? No it was going to expire in 2009 says Kado.
Do you remember meeting with Agent Beeckman in 2007 that Tuskie was going to bid contract in April 2008?
You had been talking to 2 others, Archie Clark and Henry, about renewal of the contract? Yes.
This wasn't something that Bernard dreamed up at those meetings? Yes.
You didn't want Archie Clark's name being explicit on the contract because he already had electrical contract? You were concerned it looked bad? Yes.
The 2 of you looking in a way to have Archie and Henry on it without being in anyone's face? Yes.
11:30AM You called Bernard off on March 1st and then called him back on March 19th 2008? Yes says Kado.
At the end of the day you didn't get food contract extension, Archie Clark didn't get it, Henry Hassan didn't get it, and none of you did? No.
You said Mr. Kilpatrick rented an office from you in 2003? Yes.
In fact he didn't rent office from you in September 2004? Yes.
So why did you say 2003 yesterday? I don't know says Kado.
Do you still have the IRS interview from March 28th 2007? Yes.
Please read to yourself paragraph 13 and let me know when you're done says Shea to Kado.
Thomas talks to US Attorney Michael Bullotta.

12:06PM Jim Thomas steps up and says have you met me before? Kado laughs. 

Are you working here today asks Thomas. Kado says "I'm working for the truth."

Judge Edmunds tells Thomas to move on.

Thomas says you knew you were in trouble with IRS taxes and decided to cooperate with them after consulting with lawyer? Yes.

You have had many lawyers? Yes. 

Including 2 former US Attorneys? Yes. 

You thought you'd invest in lawyers to get out of your problems including non-payment of taxes over 3 years? Yes. 

The meetings with your lawyers were also sometimes with Bullotta and Chutkow? Yes. 

And they told you what they were interested in? Yes. 

And they were interested in Kwame Kilpatrick? Not necessarily. 

Kado says he received target letter in September 2005. 

Did you meet with government in February 2006? I take your word for it. 

Did you meet with them March 2nd, March 17th, April 24th, and June 9th 2006? Yes. 

Judge says he has also testified that he met with them 12 to 15 times. 

So you met with them 15 times? Yes. 

So your lawyers didn't have you meet with them before you went over? Yes. 

You decided you were going to do whatever you could to help them (government)? No. 

At that point you didn't decide you were going to cooperate? I didn't decide yes or no. 

You did not want to cooperate right away? I didn't decide right away. 

When was it that you did decide to cooperate? After one month. 

You decided to do whatever you could not to go to prison? Yes. 

You had gone to a debate at Cobo Hall? Yes.

and that debate preceded his election? Yes. 

Did you know a week before election he was 17 points down in the polls?

Did you meet with him? No. 

Do you remember conversation with agents? Were your lawyers there, Mr. Bullotta, Chutkow, Beeckman? Yes. 

Didn't you tell them that in 2001 Kwame Kilpatrick contacted you to support his mayoral bid? No. 

What you are saying now is that he did not call you until after he was mayor? Yes.

Did you receive contact a week after debate at cobo between Kwame and Gil Hill. No says Kado I didn't speak with him until after the election.

12:18PM Bullotta calls for sidebar. There seems to be an issue over using agent's notes that are not under oath.

Sidebar disbands and Thomas is back at podium. Government objection was sustained.

Where were you when you received phone call from Kilpatrick? In kitchen of Cobo Hall.

How did he get your number? "Many people have my number," says Kado.

Was it on your cell? Yes says Kado.

At that time he did not ask you for a specific amount of money? Not specifically.

Three days later you got a call from Derrick Miller and you decided you were going to give him $10,000? Right.

In any of the conversations that you had with government is there anything you said that was different?

Did the government give you your statements and tell you to review them? Yes.

Did they point one out and say this one is a problem for us? No.

You're an older guy like me would you say that as time goes on your memory is more frail? What is that?

Is your memory of an event better closer to an event? Yes.

Would you say your memory today is better today is than 11 years ago? It is much worse.

In fact you indicated to agents that it has gotten worse? Over the last 2 or 3 years.

Did you indicate to the agents that you might be suffering from dementia? Yes.

Have you seen a doctor about this? No.

Kado says he talked to agents and he was afraid that he might be suffering dementia. And he talked to doctor.

So 4 or 5 years ago he went to doctor to discuss symptoms? Yes.

The judge interrupts and tells them not to cut each other off. Made this weird shrieking sound to stop of them.

Judge Edmunds tells witness to only question asked and not volunteer information.

Were you concerned enough to go to a physician? No.

Did you go to a doctor? Yes.

Did he perform tests? One.

Why did you raise the issue with the government on April 12th 2012 and September 11th 2012? Yes.

Did you tell them that you sometimes forget the day of the week or where you are going? Yes.

Did you tell them that you never went to a doctor for these symptoms and you'd never been diagnosed? Yes.

Is that agent Beeckman that you told you were suffering from dementia? Yes.

And you are correcting events from 11 years ago because you think your memory is better now?

In testimony yesterday you said you gave Miller money in brown paper bag? Yes.

Do you remember telling agents it was in an envelope? Yes.

And yet you say today that your memory is clearer today than it was? Yes.

Do you remember when you gave Miller the money? It was after the call, 4 or 5 days.

At that point, Miller wasn't in any position with the city?

Kado says that walking down the debate; Arthur Blackwell says you have to support the future mayor of Detroit. and Bernard says that Kado is their guy.

Judge Edmunds clarifies what Kado testified yesterday.

Where did you get the money for Miller? The store at Cobo Hall.

What was the name of your store? Cobo Sundries.

Was it a blanket name for your stores? Yes.

Who was present when you gave the money to Mr. Miller? No one.

He didn't say anything after he left? No.

You have no idea if he gave that money to Mr. Kilpatrick? No.

12:35PM You have been frequent contributor to people campaigning in Detroit? Yes.

You even supported Gil Hill in the race against Kilpatrick? Yes.

You have already agreed that city hall was in charge of contracting process at Cobo? Yes.

Did you support Sheila Cockrel amongst others? Yes.

Did you give any of them illegal contributions? No.

You did so freely and voluntarily? No because they were asking for donations.

You spent your money willingly, freely in things you believed in? Yes.

It wasn't unusual for Kwame to ask for a campaign contribution? No.

It was you who decided to give Miller $10,000? Yes.

Not because anyone asked you for it? Yes.

You considered that Lou Pavledes being someone important in the decision process? Yes.

Did you say his word is Gospel? "Gospel according to Lou," says Kado.

He was the ultimate authority? Yes.

You knew Kwame as mayor? Yes.

You had meetings with him? Yes.

You even invited him to your house and to one of your children's graduation? Yes.

Not every meeting he had with you he gave you money? No. 

He never asked you for specific amount of money? Yes.

You testified that you gave him between $5,000 and $10,000. Where did you get the money? "I got the money from the safe at Cobo Sundries."

You would accumulate the cash there? Yes. 

Where did you meet with the mayor to give him the money? Either at Cobo or at his office. 

No, the first time? I don't know exactly where. 

Do you know where it was? No. 

Do you know who was there? No one was. 

Well you testified that he came to Cobo Hall? Yes. 

Well he would have been with EPU and there were standing outside the door? Yes. 

How much did you give the mayor the first time? $10,000 

Thomas says he can't remember where, when and what Kwame was wearing when he gave him money. Yes says Kado. 

Kwame Kilpatrick came to 547 Jefferson and took money from you? What year? I don't know. There was 18 feet of snow. 

What was he wearing? I don't know.

Who was he with?

Kwame Kilpatrick never asked you for a specific amount of money? Yes. 

Would you agree that your memory of the specifics is vague? Yes.

When was it that he came to 547? August 2003. 

Sir didn't you tell me it was wintertime asks Thomas. 

Kado says there was 18 feet of snow. Kado has just contradicted himself on timing. 

Thomas says didn't you admit to a judge that you had lied on your tax returns? Yes. 

12:50PM Mayor Kilpatrick responsible for what he intends to do? Yes says Kado. 

When you were meeting with government you knew government was target of government. 

Prosecution objects. Judge sustains but gives Tomas leeway. 

Did the government ever ask you to get Kwame Kilpatrick to get him on tape? No. 

You never gathered any evidence to substantiate what you're saying. 

I have nothing further says Thomas. 

Government says they have nothing further on redirect. Surprising. Judge Edmunds thanks Kado and lets him go. 

So court session is over for today. We'll be back tomorrow at 9am.

About the author

Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.

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