Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 41 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 41

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  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:20 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:20:27 GMT
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Thursday, October 10 2013 9:33 PM EDT2013-10-11 01:33:28 GMT
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
  • No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    Thursday, May 29 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-05-30 03:32:53 GMT
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
DETROIT (MyFox Detroit) -

Tomas asks if he testified he thought Wilkes reaction was a little over the top.  Clifton says yes.  ASks if he knew if Wilkes was able to move on. Yes.  And Thomas says he's done.  Judge Edmunds says well done Mr. Thomas.  

And we're done with another day.  Evelyn will pick up his cross examination in the morning. And M.L. Elrick will give us his examination of today's testimony on Fox 2 news at 5 and 6.  And look for his unique perspective in the Takeaway on myfoxdetroit.com

12:57

Doeh asks who appointed Benson.  Clifton says it's the Mayor and Benson would have answered to Christine Beatty.  Doeh asks if Wurdlow from the Water Board asked for the spreadsheet.  Clifton says it was the spreadsheet with the lists of contractors' costs.  Looking at document now.

Doeh asks if JOA/Xcel is ranked 4th.  Clifton says they're not ranked per se but listed from lowest to highest. JOA/Xcel is fourth? Yes.

Doeh says his last questing is if  Benson is  related to Kwame.  Clifton says they're cousins.

Jim Thomas is up, tells the Judge he can do this in ten minutes.  ASks if he knew Benson worked in the city for years.  Clifton says yeas and agrees she was highly principled and hard working.

Thomas asks if Heilman was the first. Parks project in 20 years.  Thomas asks if there were any red flags.  No.  Says he wasn't pressured.  Doesn't remember hearing about any phone calls from the Mayor about the project.  Did he know Beatty and Miller were on the board.  Yes.

Thomas asks when he met Wilkes.  2002.  Thomas asks if he knew she was a civil servant.  Yes.

ASks if he knows what it takes to fire a civil servant.  Prosecution objects.  No foundation.  Thomas asks if he's a civil servant.  No.   Okay I'll move on in the 7 minutes I have left.  Judge Edmunds quips "I'm keeping track."

12:47

Doeh asks if Spencer-Daily was a minority company.  Clifton says the were a joint venture but did get points for being partially minority run.

Doeh showing Clifton his evaluation sheet.  The JOA/Xcel evaluation is flashed on the screen.  Doeh asks if he had a conversation with Wilkes about Ferguson. Yes.

Clifton asks if this is about Patton Park.  Doeh says yes.  Clifton says she was terribly upset after the meeting with Bobby and her Boss Vincent Awuna.  Says she felt threatened about her job.  Says Bobby threatened her about her job.  Says he told her not to worry about her job.  Says he told her Bobby didn't have any power over her job.  Says he remembers telling her bobby had no influence over her job.  Says he didn't know it for a fact.

Doeh asks if Clifton told Wilkes she didn't know who the players were.  Evelyn and Thomas object, say it's a leading question.  Doeh is struggling here and the Defense team has him on the ropes.

12:38

Clifton says he and Vincent Awuna were at the evaluation meeting but Ayana Benson was not.  He would report to her and pass on his recommendation.  SAys Woodhouse and Hall were there for JOA/Xcel.

Says the JOA/Xcel presentation was short, not anything spectacular, says Woodhouse and Hall were fine, seemed cool.  Says they participated, answered questions.

Says they were not nearly as informative as the other 4 companies. He scored them at 44 points average.

Doeh asks if JOA/Xcel was ranked close to the bottom.  Right. Says JOA/Xcel was chosen for the project.  Says he wasn't knocked out of his seat but it was a little surprising given their qualifications.

Doeh asks how long it took Benson to decide.  Weeks maybe.

12:32

Evelyn says that's all he has, nobody else has any questions so LaJuana Wilkes is stepping down.

Tyrone Clifton is up next.  Judge Edmunds swears him in. He works for the city of Detroit building authority since 2002, manages capital projects.

Prosecutor Doeh asks if he was involved with the Heilmann project. Yes.  Clifton is a tall, athletically built, black man, who looks a little like a 40 year old Kareem Abdul Jabar.  He has a rich baritone voice that carries through out the court room.  No trouble hearting this guy.

Doeh asks if he was on the Heilmann evaluation committee.  SAys the goal was to hire a contractor and make a recommendation to the Director.  Asks if Ayana Benson was also known as Elizabeth Benson.  Clifton says that's the say person.  Says Beatty was on the board and was the chair.

Clifton is relaxed, has one arm up on the side of the witness box, ala Soave.

Says the more points you got in the evaluation the more favorable the recommendation.

Doeh is showing him the scoring sheet now.

12:22 

"All Rise," Court is now is session.  Evelyn is at the podium and LaJuana Wilkes is back in the box.  Judge Edmunds says Tomorrow and Thursday she's going to cut short testimony by half an hour.  We'll get out at 12:30 those days.

EVelyn asks if the design is made by the Architect and the Client gets the approval.  Wilkes says yes.  Asks if she and the others approved the design.  She's says under normal circumstances yes.  Evelyn asks if she ultimately they approved the project.  Wiles reluctantly says yes, but there were other aspects.

EVelyn moves on to staffing.  Asks if she knew JOA was getting 65 percent of the project.  Wilkes says she doesn't recall.  ASks if she recalls who the project manager was .  She says in the beginning it was Woodhouse, but it became Sam Allen.  ASks if there were 3 phases.  she says if that's what you want to call it.

EVelyn asks if Woodhouse was involved in the planning.  Yes he was.  EVelyn says when construction started Sam Allen took over.  She says that's not what happened, says she had contact with Allen throughout the project.  Asks if she know who staffed the key positions from the beginning to the end.  Wilkes says she know some of them but not all.  Says most were JOA employees.

12:05

Evelyn asks if she remembers how many people were there.   Judge Edmunds says she can answer if she know but if she has no recollection she can say so.  Wilkes says maybe 30 people.

EVelyn runs down the list of attendees, Wilkes name is on the list, so is Clifton, says her boss, Vincent Awuna was there, along with a few other.

EVelyna asks if the oral presentations were already written down.  Yes.  ASks if the evaluation was subjective.  Yes.  Evelyn points out that some of the valuators scored JOA higher.  Yes.

Evelyn asks her to look at the averages per evaluator.  Evelyn asks if her average for JOA was the lowest.  Yes.

EVelyn asks if Skanska was from Sweden.  Wilkes can't recall.  asks if the only all minority teams were ranked at the bottom.  She asks if the question is these are the only all minority companies.  She can't recall.  Says she doesn't know the minority status of the architect. 

Evelyn asks the judge if we can take our break now.  Judge says yes, 5 minutes.

11:58

Evelyn asks if there was a mandatory pre bid meeting on the Heilmann project.  Wilkes says she doesn't remember but assumes there was.  EVelyn shows her a sign in sheet to refresh her recollection.  Wilkes says yes there was a meeting and it was April 29th, 2003, says she was there.  AGrees there could have been 34 companies with representatives.  SAys she doesn't know.  34 companies no, 34 people yes.

Judge says this is improper questioning because you can't ask her to look at the document and count them up.  Move on

11:54

EVelyn asks if the City learned a lot over time by rebuilding so many Recreation Centers.  ASks if FArwell started out as a recreation center but was turned into a senior facility.  Wilkes' says no,  it wasn't a design question, they ran out of money to build the other two phases.

EVelyna asks if it was a budget decision.  Wilkes says yes, not sure who made the decision.

Evelyn's asks again who was responsible for the switch over.  Which is interesting because Wilkes very clearly stated that there were two more phases in addition to the senior center that weren't built because of budget reasons.

11:51

Evelyn on cross examination now.  Introduces himself as Bobby's attorney.  Says you indicated that the conversation with Bobby on the Patton Park project took place at the Water Board Building.  Asks if this was a DWSD project. Correct.  ASks if the Rec dept had an interest because DWSD was donating land.  Yes.

Evelyn asks if this was at the Water Board Meeting.  Yes.  ASks if contracts were discussed.  Yes.

ASks how she brought up Woodhouse and Halls name at the Water Board Meeting.  Judge Edmunds clarifies the question.  Evelyn asks if there were any meeting minutes showing what she told the Water Board at the meeting.  Wilkes says no. Evelyn's asks if the water board would assign someone to investigate he double dipping claims.  Wilkes says she doesn't remember any water board staffers contacting her.

Evelyn asks who the Rec Dept head was at that time.  Mr. Beckham or Stephenson, she can't recall.

Evelyn asks if other conversations with contractors got heated.  Wilkes says not like that.  Evelyn's says I'm not asking like that.  Wilkes says no.  Evelyn says but meetings got heated.  Wilkes allows that one other meeting got heated.

Wilkes says they had only talked for a few minutes before Bobby said she only had her job because she was black.  Says she doesn't remember who left first.  Says she didn't ask her boss about losing her job.

Evelyn asks if he ever said her job was in jeopardy.  No.  Asks if she ever lost her job or was reassigned.  Wilkes says on paper, no.  Evelyn asks if she had any problems with Woodhouse and Ferguson before.  She says not really. ASks if she ever had any problems with change orders.  Yes. EVelyns asks if she said she wasn't going to approve change orders because she didn't want to pay Ferguson anymore.  Wilkes she didn't says that.  He asks something like that, she says nothing like that, emphatically.

Evelyn asks several questions in the line of "you don't like Mr. Ferguson."  PRosecution objects, Judge sustains.

11:37

Wilkes says after the meeting with Bobby and her boss she called Tyrone Clifton, says maybe 15-20 minutes after the meeting, says she was upset.  Says she wasn't connected and wanted to talk to someone she thought was on her side.

and Doeh is done.

11:36

Doeh is now asking if she was also over seeing the Patton Park project at the same time.  Wilkes says at a meeting for that project she talked to Bobby about Heilman.  Her concern was that the site managers for Patton were the same as the ones for Heilman so it looked like they'd be double dipping.  Says how can they be at two places at the same time. 

Wilkes says she was pulled into a meeting with Bobby and her boss to discuss the double dipping, says bobby was questioning if his people were capable of running the project and she kept saying no it was double billing, says it eventually turned into a shouting match.

Says Bobby told her the only reason she had the job was because she was black.  Says her boss didn't say anything.  Says Ferguson threatened her job.

Says she felt her job was threatened because Bobby had a connection to the Mayor, but because her boss was incapable of protecting her she didn't know how much of an ear Bobby really had with the mayor, beyond even her bosses control.  Says her boss didn't react in any kind of way, she took that to mean he was trying to keep himself distant from what was going on.

11:27

Doeh asks how she would rate the design.  Wilkes says she'd give it a "C."  Says the parking lot was a problem, the heating system was poor, that there was supposed to be air flow into the locker rooms but the air was neither heated nor cooled.  Says they finally had to add heaters.

Doeh asks her to compare the job Spencer-Daily did.  Says she was on site once or twice a week.  Says with JOA she had to go daily.

Wilkes says the atrium design of Heilman was just a big hallway, said she thought it was supposed to be a programmable space, but if you wanted to have an activity there people would constantly be walking through it.  Says the JOA team met often in the beginning to discuss the problems.

Doeh asks if, overall, did JOA and Xcel managers meet often.  Wilkes says most of the time it was weekly. Says sometimes the problems got fixed but sometimes she had to keep revisiting those same problems, says this was for  the first year of the project. 

11:21

Wilkes says a previous recreation center construction project only took a year and this one took 2.  Says this project was poorly manned.  Says like when building a wall might take 20 men they had only 5.

Wilkes says in 2005 the building hadn't been enclosed yet but they should have been doing inside finishing work.

Wilkes lists the site managers on site, says she saw Woodhouse and Hall from Xcel on occasion, says infrequently.

Wilkes says she talked about the problem with Clifton, told him "They're not working."

11:17

Doeh is showing the rankings on the evidence screen now.  Wilkes identifies that we're looking at point totals, the top bidders got more than 80 points but JOA/Xcel scored in the 40's.

Doeh asks who got the contract.  Wiles says JOA, and yes, she was surprised. Says the group decision was to got with Skanska, JOA wasn't even in the running.

Wilkes says she didn't believe JOA was the best value.  Says after JOA was hired it was her job to make sure the winning contractor did the job right.  Says she had to be on the job site way more that what would have been normal with any other typical contractors.  Says she had to go out 4 or 5 times a week.

Doeh asks how often she was Woodhouse and Calvin hall at the site.  Evelyn objects.  Judge Edmunds asks Doeh to go back to asking her what she observed.  Wilkes says she usually checks to see how many crews are on the site, how many managers. 

Says the biggest problem for her was the amount of time the project took.

11:08

Doeh asks if she knows Tyrone Clifton.  Wilkes says yes, he worked for the building department, was also a project manager.

Wilkes says the JOA/Xcel seemed unprepared.  Says they spent some of their time just sitting.  Says Michael Woodhouse did the presentation. Doeh is trying to ask how the JOA/Xcel presentation compared to the other presentations but he said how does they're presentation compare.  Evelyn objects and says who is they?  Doeh reboots his questioning, with a little help from the judge.  Wilkes finally says the JOA presentation was lacking.

Wiles says JOA was ranked 4th out of the 5 bidders.

11:02

 Wilkes is looking at the review sheets she prepared for the Heilmann project.  THese are reviews for the companies that put in bids. 

Doeh asks if the 5 bidders made a presentation to the selection committee.  Wilkes says yes.

Wilkes says it was really a verbal presentation of their packages.

Doeh is showing the JOA/Xcel review.  She says Woodhouse was one of the representatives from that company.   She read that their approach steps were not clearly laid out, but did note that they understood the scope of the project.  Says JOA didn't get as high a recommendation from her as the other bidders.  Says she wanted Spencer-Daily.  Says their package was complete, an experience Rec center designer, plus they did good work before.

Wilkes says JOA had done work for them before but not a large scale project.

10:55

Court is back in session.  Judge Edmunds is sorting out exhibit numbers.

10:30

Wilkes is a very matter of fact black women, I'm guessing late 30's although she looks younger, with shoulder length straight black  hair, wearing a conservative green suit.  She speaks with confidence, does not appear to be nervous.

 Doeh asks her about a previous contractor, Spencer Daily, she says they did a great job on another project despite unforeseen problems like vandalism, and delivered a good product under budget.

They got this far and the Judge calls for a 20 minute break.

10:27

New witness LaJuan Wilkes, is being questioned Prosecutor Doeh.  She's construction project coordinator from the City of Detroit with a 4 year degree, General Services Department.  Says she once worked for Detroit Recreation Department from 2002 though 2010.

Says her immediate supervisor at the end was Vincent Awuna.  Doeh asks if Lee Stephenson was a director.  Wilkes says yes but she doesn't remember when.  Says the Heilmann project started as a renovation project but turned into a new construction project.

Doeh asks if she was on the selection committee, along Awuna, Clifton of the Building Department.

Doeh asks if Ayana Benson was on the board.  Wilkes says yes, says she knew there was some connection to the Mayor.

Doeh asks if at some point the bidders on the project were selected for an interview process.  Wilkes say 5 were selected.

Say her objective was to make the best selection for the City of Detroit.  Says contract cost was 7 million.

10:18

Sorry about the delay, we had a brief interruption of the wireless service.  Just to sum up here.  Under direct examination Anebiosu testified that Akinwusi paid money towards Kwame's layaway account.

Thomas came up on cross and asked if CAsh were still legal tender in the United States.  Anebiosu said yes.

Anebiosu testified he thought it was good for business that the Mayor was wearing his clothes.

On Redirect Blackwell asked if Anebiosu ever gave the Mayor free clothes.  Anebiosu says, well, he did have an outstanding balance, so yeah, the Mayor got free clothes.

10:12

Blackwell looking at a 12/12/2001 transaction.  Anebiosu says Kwame paid $1600 in cash.

Now looking at 12/23/2002. Anebiosu says Kwame paid $1998 in cash.  Next date is $2000 in cash. Last date is 2009 and this is for $760.

Blackwell asks he Anebiosu ever asked why the Mayor paid cash.  Anebiosu says he doesn't ask his customers that kind of question.

Blackwell asks how he knows Akinwusi.  Anebiosu says they're both from Nigeria, has known him so long he forgot how they met, friends a long time.  Says he told the Mayor about Akinwusi's Christmas party and introduced them to each other there.

Says Akinwusi told him he wanted to do business with the city, asked him if he could talk to the mayor.  Says they had that conversation many times.

Blackwell asks if he gave Akinwusi advice.  Anebiosu says he had many conversations, doesn't remember specific advice.

9:36

Larry Anebiosu of Fashion International in Southfield is on the stand, says they make custom men's clothing, shirts, suits, coats, leather,  maybe 13,000 clients, since 1990.  Sports  stars, high rollers, and customers from all walks of life.

Says you can get a suit in 48 hours and spend thousands of dollars.  Says one of his customers brought Mayor Kilpatrick to his store.  Says he make the first suit for Kwame in 2000 or 2001.  Says it was difficult for the Mayor to buy suits off the rack because of his size.

Says Kwame also bought shirts, ties, shoes, doesn't remember how many suits. 

Blackwell asks if other public officials bought suit from him.  Asks what does she mean by public officials.  He says some council members.

Anebiosu says the Mayor was always complaining about how much he had to pay, says Kwame cried about not having a lot of money.

Blackwell puts up Kwame's records from Fashion International. Says there's no cumulative total but asks if he know how much he spent. Anebiosu says he doesn't know.  ASks more than $50,000.  Says he doesn't know.

9:27

Bobby's attorney Gerald Evelyn is up.  Asks if he remembers looking at all the  meeting minutes. Evelyn says he was never at the work site... Evelyn and Akinwusi at firing questions and answers so fast that the Judge is now jumping in... like a referee at a prize fight breaking up two clinching fighters.

EVelyn rips off a few more questions and he did it so fast I hadn't finished typing the last sentence before he said no further questions.

Thomas is up, asks if Akinwusi attended the ribbon cuttings, did Heilmann,  no further questions,  no, one more question about the suits.  Akinwusi says he gave the money for suits in layaway.  And Thomas says suits in layaway that's all I need.

And Blackwell calls a new witness to the stand.

 

9:20

"all rise"  Court is in session.  Prosecutor Blackwell is doing the questioning, Mr. Akinwusi is on the stand. 

Akinwusi says he paid for the Mayor's suits, and he's now identifying the receipts documenting his payment.

Blackwell is now asking Akinwusi about the meeting minutes that Bobby's attorney Gerald Evelyn used to show all the work done by Bobby's company Excel on the Heilmann community center.  Akinwusi is sticking to his story that the Xcel employees didn't do any work but take notes.

Asked why he continued to Pay Xcel he says he wanted to keep his contact.

Blackwell asks if he thought it was a conflict of interest for Xcel to subcontract with FEI for the demolition work. Akinwusi says yes, bobby was already part of Xcel.

Blackwell is done and Thomas asks for a sidebar.

9:06

The defendants are in the court room and the  lawyers are just coming out of chambers with the  Judge.

9:05

The gang is all here in the media overflow room on the first floor.  We're just waiting for the picture from the court room.

 8:30

Good morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House. 

Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News.  You can contact him at ken.martinek@foxtv.com

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