Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 16 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 16

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She's excused and  we have another week under our belts.  We're done for the day.   And I must say, had I done this much typing in High School  I might have managed to squeak out a D- instead of flunking the class.  My thanks to my High School typing teacher for doing her best despite my lack of talent, and to the guy who invented spell check!

See you all on Monday, don't forget M.L. Elrick will have a complete wrap up of the highlights tonight at 5 and 6 in between reports of celebrations for the Tigers and their trip to the World Series.  And of course look for his "Takeaway" on MyFoxDetroit.Com.   Have a great weekend.


EVelyn asks if her memory might be weak and the conversation was only about the gaming board and she replies, "I want to say it was the Grand Jury, too."

She allows that it could have been just the gaming board or both.


Says she told Bobby she wouldn't lie if it went to court.  Says Bobby told her it would fall back on her sister REnee.

SAys she felt he meant by "fall back on her sister" that her sister would get in trouble.

Says she wasn't afraid or anything because it was just Bobby.


Says Bobby went to her home before the Grand Jury testimony.  Says Bobby didn't knock on door but came straight back to her bedroom.  Says they talked about the case and he told her to say the money didn't come from him.


SAys as she recalls she did hear from Bobby about Gaming control investigation.  Says he told her they'd be calling because he was trying to get some kind of Gaming license.


SAys her sister told her Bobby had some Money Orders to sign, didn't say what they were for, asked by her sister Renee.  Now looking at the ones she signed.  Her name is on the signature line and payable to Kilpatrick for Mayor.  $1000

Next one is for $1000 and next $1000, and now one for 400.  total is $3400.  (The legal Campaign limit)  She says she assumes it's bobby Ferguson's money.


Jefferson says she's known Bobby 10 years through her sister Renee.  Recalls being asked to sign money orders, in her home, by her sister Renee.  In the evening.


Sister number three is up now, this is Darlene Johnson.  AP (ASsistant Prosecutor) Blackwell is doing the questioning.


Now being asked about her conversations with the FBI in 2005.  Asked if she got her refund before or after she talked to the feds.  SAys after.

Evelyn now asking if she could have gotten the refunds earlier she says she can't recall.  She's excused.


Defense is asking Prosecutors to stipulate that the Pay to the ORder of line on all these money orders says to Kwame Kilpatrick for Mayor.

Johnson says it wasn't her money.  Asks if she got a refund she says yes for  the full amount.  didn't give it back to Bobby but was getting a refund that wasn't her money.


Johnson says she was presented money order by her sister Renee.  Doeh Asks her if she recognizes the document he just handed her and she says yes it's the money order and that's her signature.

Pay to the order of Kwame Kilpatrick something,  line is hard to read.  It's for $1000.

didn't write in the Pay to order of section. 



New Witness is Josephine Johnson, says she's Newsome's sister, says she's seen Bobby at her other sister's house Darlene Jefferson.


Blackwell showing Newsome more of her Grand Jury testimony.  Asks if she talked to FErguson after she was approached by the FBI she says she doesn't recall.

Blackwell reads from statement where she says what she talked to Bobby about.  Her answer is wishy washy here.  Blackwell didn't quite get the gotcha she was looking for.


Evelyn up and asks if the "stick to your story" directive was specifically about the gaming commission investigation and she replies she doesn't recall.

Evelyn shows her the Grand Jury TEstimony transcript.  She says it refreshes her recollection, and it applies to the gaming commission and not her grand jury testimony.  A small point for Evelyn but it looks like the "stick to your story" quote is going to stick with folks for a while.


Evelyn is done, AP Blackwell is up.  Asks if the money was hers when she signed the money orders she says no it was Bobby's.

Asked if the FBI told her she could be in trouble if she lied she replies yes.

Blackwell asks her again what Bobby told her to do she says he told her to stick to your story.


Asks if she was called by the gaming commission.  says yes.  Did Bobby tell her at some point that he was going to drop his gaming commission application.

A little back story here.  In order to get a contract with a casino, even if it's to haul away trash, which as I recall Bobby was trying to get the contract for, a business has to go through the application process.  This is so guys like Tony Soprano types can't move in set up nefarious enterprises like money laundering or skimming operations.  They do this for every vendor whether it's the company that delivers food or the company that contracts the janitorial work.  It's a standard thing.  If you  don't pass the back ground check you don't get the contract.  (Nefarious, fun word!)


Evelyn on cross. asks if Bobby went to her house and if he told her what it was for.  asked if he told her he could give the money to the aMayor. perhaps.  Did the money get returned.  says yes and she was allowed to keep the money.

asked if this was just like it was her money, she says yes.


Asked if she knows the maximum amount that can be contributed to a campaign she replies yes, $3400.

Admits she didn't tell the FBI the truth about the money orders because Bobby told her to stick to her story.


Newsome says at a later date she asked Bobby for money.  ASked did she have another conversation with Bobby about the money orders she says she can't recall.

Says she had another Conversation with Bobby after she got her Grand Jury Subpoena.  Says yes he told her to stick to her story.


Asked if she was subpoenaed by the State of Mi and the FBI. Yes

SAys she talked to Bobby about it and he told her to stick to her story.

Says she told the FBI it was her money.


Says once they were signed she gave them back to Bobby.  SAys this was not her personal money.  Asked if she knows who paid for them she says,  "Bobby?'"


Now showing the money orders on the screen.  This one is for $1000 and is paid to the order of Kwame Kilpatrick for Mayor.  SAys that line was blank when she signed it.  So what we've got here is bobby's money going to Kwame's campaign through a third party.

And Newsome says the same about the rest of the money orders that her sisters signed.


Asked if she was asked to sign something by Bobby she says yes, money orders. SAys her sisters and her niece saw her sign them.

Says they divided them up and signed them.


New Witness.  Renee Newsome who has worked at Henry Ford for 15 years.  Has known Bobby for 10 years through personl friends.  Says she had a personal relationship with bobby.  ASked if that meant a "dating" relationship, she says yes.


Brown is excused.


Bobby's attorney now on cross.  ASking about family history, teaching bobby to lay pipe, working with his Dad.  asks if he knows Tony Suave, says yes, did some work, say he worked for a lot of different companies. 

Evelyn asks if large white owned companies hired minority companies.  ASked if some of these companies hired minority companies and had them just order supplies.  Brown says he counseled Bobby not to be a minority front but to push to be allowed to do the real work.


Doeh asks if he looked at the money orders.  Brown says he just put them in an envelope and delivered them to the office .

And now Doeh says he has no further questions.  The suspense is killing me here.


Brown says he doesn't really remember speaking to the FBI in 2005.  Doeh is handing him the statement he gave to the FBI.  If this was a TV show court case we'd have breezed through all this and gone straight to the aha moment.


Brown says he had to sign them because that was the only way the bank would let him cash them.  Says Ferguson told him to get money orders for $3400.  Which happens to be the legal campaign contribution limit under state law that an individual can give to a candidate for office.


Aha, he took them to the bank and got Money Orders!  Must be for something nefarious!  Or maybe not, we're still waiting to find out.


Another check, this one is for $10,000. Lots of checks.  It's taking awhile to get all these into evidence and we won't find out what the money was for until they're all in.


Running through more checks, half a dozen so far, for amounts ranging from $1000 to $6000.

Brown says Ferguson might have given them to him or signed them and left them for him.


Prosecutor Doeh asking him about a checks he got from Ferguson's company.  Checks are signed on the back by Brown and Bobby Ferguson.

Looking at a third check now.  same thing. 


Unlike the Feisty Rutherford, or the calm professional testimony of agent Beeckman, GEorge Brown is a soft spoken working guy.  He's got his hands folded in his lap and he's leaning forward across the witness stand.  He's wearing  knit dark green and black sweater with white squares across the back.  His answers are earnest and simple... and he's a little nervous.


Brown say he pulled permits, fueled trucks and machines, worked out of the Wyoming Street office.

Says he knew Bobby before, worked for his Dad, and it was a family thing.  Says he once owned his own business, George Brown Excavating.  Among other jobs his company did work for Ferguson.


New witness George Brown.  Chutkow asks if he worked for Ferguson from 2003 through 2010.  Says yes.


Thomas asks if Beeckman knows the Vegas meeting was only 15 minutes. Beeckman says he cant recall.

Thomas asks if the Cobo center renovations were financed by the Port Authority. Beeckman says he doesn't know.

Chutkow now asking if the Thomas's question about a convention center plan without gaming was proposed.  Beeckman says no.

Does Beeckman see the message about an extra tax on slot to  pay for the convention plan.

Beeckman says yes.

Thomas asks if he the riverfront conservancy plan was already in place. Beeckman says he thinks maybe. not sure


Thomas not asking if this idea ever came about.  Beeckman says no. 


Text from Kwame again.  Did you like that shit Steelman had.  Miller replies not much but the Port authority can do  whatever you want.

So the Defense is showing evidence that Kwame didn't want casinos on the riverfront and was saying that publicly.

The prosecution is showing evidence that Kwame was having behind the scenes conversations with Rutherford and Vegas casino developer STeelman about putting a casino complex on the riverfront.


Chutkow now moving to another topic.  CAsinos on the riverfront.  asks if the debate was about being mayor of Detroit and if it was a statement for the public. Beeckman says yes

Chutkow calls up text message from Miller: Venetian wants to discuss riverfront piece complex with convention facility.

text from Bernard Kwame: Steelman and Rutherford would like to talk to you.


Chutkow up, asks if Kwame actually got the prize fight tickets from Rutherford.  objection. another sidebar.


Thomas asking about land speculation, which casinos were in trouble, several other things. Beeckman says he's not intimate with the details.


Thomas up now asking about meeting in Vegas.  ASks about Rutherford's big box development plan and casino plan.  asks if Beeckman was aware that Kwame took stand that Casinos would not be placed south of Jefferson.  Beeckman says he recalls.

Now showing clip of Guy Gordon, Thomas quips look how young he looks.

This is a pre-election debate with the candidates.  Gordon asks what they'll do to get the Casinos located.  Gill Hill answers first and ultimately says not on the riverfront.

Kwame says not on the riverfront.  But they have to locate according to a plan the Mayor puts forward.


Shea is up to cross.  ASking about Rutherford's testimony. Introducing as series of messages from Nov. 2002 between Beatty and Bernard.

Bernard: I need to talk to you about monies owed to Jon Rutherford from the mental Health board and Patti's refusal to pay.

Beatty: call me in ten minutes

Bernard: will do..

ASks if this refers to payment problem he asked about earlier, Beeckman says yes.


2002 texts between kwame and bobby...asked if FEI gave contribution

bobby Robert from crane's only asked one question about you...

Kwame did you at least get to tell him about your company

Bobby talked for an hour, just wanted to tell you that was all he asked about you


Jury is seated. Chutkow is asking Agent Beeckman is he looked into fund raising activities.  Looking at 4 exhibits: more texts

Kwame and Bobby:

forward from Beatty we have raised, drum roll, $1,710,000

Bobby, man are we greedy

Kwame, No doubt big dog lets go get it



Here's a funny aside: during the last break Kwame, Bernard, and Jim Thomas grabbed coffee from the snack bar.  When it was time to go back upstairs Jim said to the group let's go up.  Bernard leaned over to Kwame and said, "Is this guy" ready to go?"


"All Rise."  Court is back in session.  Shea is objecting that its inappropriate for an agent to interpret the meanings of phrases in text messages.  The Judge is saying it it's a question of identification. like the use of "this guy" it's okay to say who is being referred to.  the objection arose from a text message that started, "Boss guy wants to have a meeting."  The lawyers were arguing whether it meant "boss -- a guy want to have a meeting" or " that boss guy wants to have a meeting."

The judge is now explaining that it will be up to the jury to figure out the true meaning and that each witness will have their own interpretation.


Okay, Judge is calling for a 20 minute break.  So what we've just seen is the prosecution, setting up with text messages, that the Kilpatrick clan and friends, has been communicating with Rutherford about getting a CAsino on the riverfront.  They'll be moving on to another topic with agent Beeckman after the break.


Beeckman is running though a series of text messages between Miller, Kwame, Bernard, and Rutherford dealing with them trying to put development plans together for the CASino, hotel, and retail complex on the east riverfront properties.


text from JR, you coming.  Kwame replies totally forget... "will come later."

Now one from Miller, no matter what port authority is the way to go

Mayor replies you like that shit Steelman had.

Miller, not exactly but ort authority can do whatever you need done.  (Steelman is a Vegas CAsino investor)


Beeckman explaining the use of "this guy" in texts, says it's the way Kwame and Bernard referred to themselves.

looking at check dated March 07 2003 check to Bernard's company, day after the text messages they were looking.  It's the last check paid to Bernard.


text from Ayanna saying she's strapped for cash and can she hit up Bernard for between 500 and 1000 dollars.  And keep the Rutherford's of the world on hand.

Bernard says no problem


TExt from Bernard, are you still trying to go to Vegas...

reading text exchange

What time around you leaving? I need about 15 minutes

What's the best day for you Steelman and Jr to meet (Jon Rutherford

I'll ask LInda

STeelman wants to leave Monday

How about Monday morning

Mayor texts call Linda


Doeh asking if he remembers Rutherford saying he advised Bernard on how to set up a business.  Looking at a check from Rutherford's company to Maestro for $10,000.

Moving to the signature card from Bernard's bank.  Shows basic information, April 1 2002.  Same date as check from Rutherford.

Now looking at text from Bernard to Derrick Miller dated April 3. I have a 10:00 breakfast with my client, Jon Rutherford, show says you won't call him back...which is because he should go thru me.  I would appreciate a call about 10:30...thanx."


Now looking at articles of incorporation for Maestro and Associates, Bernard's company, dated Dec. 2001. points out that this was after election but just before kwame took office.


Now looking at a $5,000 check from Rutherford.  Followed by a text that says,  "Jon Rutherford ... who just gave 5 grand... wants you to flip a coin at (at a HS football game ) at ford field..."

Kwame's text says " I have my town Hall mgt ...really want to go, but I can't..."


Looking at a text message now from Loronzo JOnes to Derrick Miller.  Says hey Mr. mayor did we get out clothes in yet from Dubai.  Jones was on Kwame's executive protection unit.

Thomas is objecting that prosecution is testifying by re-introducing previous testimony as fact and Judge over-rules.


Looking at invoice from Mandalay Bay.  kwame's signature is on the bottom.  Beeckman says on page two it shows guest was kwame, date is 2001.  Now looking at similar document for Bobby Ferguson.  Now looking at similar document for Art Blackwell.

Beeckman says he remembers testimony from Rutherford about being at bar to distribute the tickets.  This is the incident when the phone call from a reporter came in that caused the group to scatter.  Curtis Hertell, according to Rutherford, ran out in such a panic that he fell over a chair.


AGent Beeckman is back on the stand now.  Being asked about prize fight tickets and VEgas stay and Mandalay Bay Resort.


Thomas interrupts Shea with a "medical" emergency.  Grabs a Kleenex off the witness stand.

Shea's shows a check with Julius' Williams name on the back and says that's the wrong check.  Johnson says yes.

Shea asks if he took a check to the market and Johnson asks yes.

Asks if Ken Cockrel was on slate.  Johnson say yes.  Asks if Sheila Cockrel was on slate, say they wouldn't have endorsed her.


Shea's asks, rides to the polls, handing literature, and even if they weren't involved with a candidate they still worked to get people out to vote.  Johnson says yes.

Shea's says," you didn't have a lot of money."  Johnson say yes, had to pay the troops, had to feed the troops.

Shea asks if they had to rely on money from others and it wasn't unusual what they were doing for Kwame.  Johnson says no, and they encouraged Kwame to run, that they had already decided to endorse kwame before he met Bernard.


Shea on cross. asks if CC was around since 90"S and against casino's.  Johnson corrects him and says they wanted local owners for casinos.

Asks if they identified candidates who they wanted to support.  Johnson says right.

Says they've been involved in several campaigns before.

Asks if this is what they did?  Johnson says yes.


Asks if Bernard came to him to ask for help.  Says whoever was at the top of the slate had to foot the bill.

Shea jumps in to object to a leading question.

Doeh asks if there was any money left.  Johnson says $8400.


Now looking at a $45,000 check from Rutherford to the Community Coalition.  Now a $35,000 check to CC.  Johnson says he doesn't know of anyone else writing checks this big from anyone else.  Not even checks in the $10,000 range.


Johnson says work was for a slate of candidates, including some  council candidates.


Says Rutherford handed him a check but he told Rutherford that the banks were closed and he needed cash.  Check for $7275.  Says he went to a market, they were expecting  him, met with the manager, cashed the check.


Johnson says he told Bernard what it would cost.  Doeh asks if Bernard told him about Jon Rutherford.  Says he met Rutherford through Bernard and they got together at the community center.  says the purpose was to  collect money to pay the workers.  this was the day of the election.


Johnson says poll workers were paid $80 a day if they worked al day to work the polls.  Asked how much money they  collected when they passed the hat around.  SAys couple hundred dollars.

Doeh says he not good at math but he's going to add up what it costs to pay the poll workers.  Not enough in the hat to cover cost of poll workers.


Asked if he talked to Bernard in 2001.  Says yes, Bernard wanted him to help Kwame get elected.  Says he wanted the group to help.  Says they did door to door, work the polls, hand out literature and who to vote for.  Says they wanted the group's endorsement.


Says Julius Williams was the treasurer.  Says they had several groups, dues paying members about 100 in 2001.   $10 membership fee, now dues.  Passed the hat around.


Next witness is Ernest Johnson a life long Detroit resident.  Asked about "The Community Coalition."  Says it's an organization to help the community and kids an stuff like that.  Says it still exists.  Says it's a non-profit. 501c4 and a PAC. (Political ACtion Committee)

Says he was the chairperson.


Thomas asks if he even knew if Kwame got the suits.  Says no.  He's excused.


Doeh up. Asks if Mayor left alone.  Ahmad says Loronzo Jones was with him.


Thomas asks if Kwame and the Mayor of Dubai met alone.  Ahmad says he was there.

Thomas asks if he worked hard while he was there and if Kwame worked hard.  Ahmad says yes.


Thomas asks if he was active in setting up events.  Says yes.  Asks how they were treated.  Ahmad says very well.  Asks about the Sheik who was Mayor of Dubai.  Ahmad says he attended and they al met him.  Says trip was to develop trade between the two cities.

Thomas asks if was to bring foreign investment to Detroit.  Ahmad says yes.

Asks if in ARab Culture a dinner meeting is  important.  Ahmad says yes.


Ahmad says Miller asked him if he knew anything about the shipping of the suits.  Ahmad says he didn't.

Prosecution is finished.


ASked if Mayor ever returned to dinner.  Ahmad says no he never came back.  Says they left Dubai the following day.  Says after they got back Derrick Miller called him... Thomas objects, hearsay.  Judge says do you want to take a sidebar and I'll explain my ruling.


Now talking about the dinner on the last day of the trip, Mayor, Derrick Miller, and Loronzo Jones were on trip.  Ahmad says he saw Mayor leaving and told him it was because it was to be measured for suits, in the middle of the dinner.  Ahmad says he was surprised.


New witness is Ahmad Chevani from Onmex accounting and tax services.  Lead a trade delegation to Dubai for Arab American League.  says purpose of trip was to establish a  sister city agreement between Detroit and Dubai.  Met with Mayor and other business leaders in Dubai.  High rollers from Ministers to business men.


Jim Thomas up now.  Showing list from prosecutors that shows the payments that went to various entities that were associated with kwame.  Asks if Kwame had ideals he supported and if he supported other politicians.  Rutherford says yes.  Says it was to that end that he supported kwame.  Says he was never forced to give that money and had no expectation of reward?  Rutherford says yes.

He's  excused.


ASks Rutherford about mental health board appointment.  Says it was an obvious conflict of interest for him.  Shea asks if Bernard walked away from a $10,000 a month position to volunteer on the board.  Rutherford says yes.


Asks if he had trouble getting paid at times.  Rutherford says governments can starve you at times by paying late.  Says he had to mortgage his home at times while waiting for payment.  Says Bernard talked to officials to help with that.


Asks if he new Bernard was working on Granholm campaign in 2002. Yes.  Asks if it wouldn't be unusual to hire someone with contacts like Bernard's.  Rutherford says yes.  Says he didn't need a memo or a lot of stuff in writing, some people communicate different.  Says getting information from Bernard in conversations was just fine with him.  Says Bernard did do work for him.


Shea's asks if he testified that Bernard was a veteran Bureaucrat.  Rutherford says yes.  Asks if there were other consultants like Hertell.  Yes.  6 Communications? Yes.


Shea is showing Rutherford a copy of the consulting agreement between Bernard and Rutherford.  Yesterday Rutherford said he didn't really need Bernard for anything but... "you'll never know when you'll need someone."


Bernard's lawyer John Shea up now.  ASks if Rutherford doesn't know the context of the conversation, Yes.  Doesn't know if it was said in jest. Yes.  Rutherford just doesn't' remember the conversation.


Chutkow asks if he remembers his Grand Jury testimony and is now reading off the transcript.  Asks if he ever ran into Bernard at a bar called Floods.  Asks if he remembers Bernard saying "Coleman Young got paid and I'm going to get paid too."  Rutherford says he doesn't recall that particular conversation but if it's in the transcript it's probably accurate.


Judge Edmunds greets the Jury and reminds Rutherford that he's still under oath and now Mark Chutkow is asking him about what Bernard Kilpatrick talked about his hopes for his son.  Rutherford says he doesn't recall the congregation. 


"All rise"  Court is in session.  Good Morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House.  Judge Edmonds is talking to the attorneys about  Jon Rutherford's testimony yesterday.  The Prosecution wanted to have him declared a  hostile witness but Judge Edmunds says she say him as "rough" and got a chuckle out of the room, but will not declare him hostile at this time.

-Ken Martinek is Senior Producer -Investigations for Fox 2 News

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