Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 42 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 42

Detroit (MyFoxDetroit) -

And the Judge calls a halt for the day, but asks to see the lawyers before they leave.  M.L. Elrick will have his unique take on the days testimony tonight at 5 and 6 on Fox 2 News, plus his always entertaining Takeaway on


Evelyn up now.  he's showing the RFP for Heilman and talking about the clause that says DBA reserves the right to reject all proposals.  Werdlow says that' pretty standard language.  Says it gives the city the right to do business with anyone they want.  Says there's not=nothing illegal about that language.


Thomas just asked a whole  bunch of questions that Judge Edmunds were so broad as to be meaningless.

Thomas now asking if Cabinet members would bring up names of people to discuss, and he was aware of the minority issue to give preferences to minorities competing for contracts.  Werdlow says it wasn't kwame who came up with that.  Thomas says other mayors too.  Yes.

Thomas asks if say, the Law Firm Lewis and Mundy were a minority firm that benefited by being a minority company.  Judge Edmunds says this is a well respected firm  and has nothing to do with this case.

Thomas asks if minority law firms would benefit.

WErdlow says it was cost and skill. Thomas says let's talk about that.  Says you would have the opportunity pick your contractor.  Doeh objects and says that non competitive contractors are not a part of this case.  Judge Edmunds sustains.

Thomas asks who was Ayana/Elizabeth Benson.  WErdlow identifies her as director.

Thomas asks if DWSD contracts were different.  Werdlow says because of the special administrator it was like apples and oranges.

Thomas asks if DBA contracts were different.  Werdlow says it was and agency so yes a little.

Thomas now asking about contracting with bond firms that would not be let competitively. (that's why he brought up Lewis and Mundy)

Thomas asks if a company could be passed over because the didn't have the expertise and ability.  Yes. 

Remember Skanska, the company on the top of the list, the one Thomas and Evelyn made a point of saying was a giant international firm?  Does business all over the world.  Are we now to believe that it was passed over due to inability?

Thomas retires.


Thomas has been needling Doeh here, they've exchanged a couple of remarks off mic that we couldn't catch here in the overflow room

Thomas is talking about the Mayor's team structure and specifically Walter Watkins. Former president of Bank One who was Chief development officer. 

Old story, Watkins was the boss of Henry Hagood, you may remember a SCott Lewis story about Hagood, (this would have been before he defected to the enemy) where we caught Hagood selling city owned property to his pals.  Thomas is asking Werdlow if he thought these department heads were competent.  WEll, WAtkins had no clue Hagood was selling the properties and promptly accepted his resignation, but didn't do a whole lot after that. Judge Edmunds is telling Thomas to move along, there's no  disagreement about the competency of the department heads.  Well, Thomas may have a point here.  Would have been great to see where he would go with that.  Hagood and his cronies were tight with the Mayor but poor Walt WAtkins was caught completely off guard.

Thomas is asking now if the Mayor may not know on a day to day basis What's going on.  Well, even the department heads don't know about what's going on in their departments.  What would be interesting to know is if Kwame did know and guys like Watkins didn't.  When we called Kwame's office on the real estate sale story they dodged us and made Watkins fall on his sword.


Doeh asks if WErdlow knew about text messages before his vote.  Thomas objects and asks for a sidebar.

Bobby is smiling and talking to Kwame.  Kwame is not smiling, maybe even looks a little nervous.

Doeh asks if it was important for city employees to abide by that directive.  Yes.

Doeh asks if, he'd know about those exchanges he'd have changed his vote.  Judge sustains objection.

Thomas is up now. Doeh left a huge question hanging, would Werdlow have changed his vote had he seen the text messages.  The Defense did a great job keeping this testimony out, but the question is still hanging in the air.

Let's see if Thomas can clear that air.


WEdow says he never got the bid sheets he asked for.  Doeh says Benson wrote a letter to the board about which contractor to go with, puts it on the screen.  From June 19 2003 from Benson to DBA.

Doeh asks about handwriting on note, says send breakdown of contractors to Werdlow, I think, Doeh whipped it off the screen before I could read it.

Doeh now showing the Construction Services agreement.  Werdlow says it typically between the City and Contractors to outline work that needs to be done.  This is with JOA/Xcel.

Doeh jumps to the conflict of interest section, Werdlow reads that contractor will have no direct interest any concern or business or has any personal relationship or personal financial interest with public officials.

Werdlow says absolutely it's important to abide by these standards.


Doeh reads from exhibit on May 13 2003 the committee find 5 proposals responsive, JOA/Xcel is recommended by the evaluation committee.

Doeh asks if he relied on Evaluation committee rankings if this would be a discrepancy.  Werdlow says this would be a huge discrepancy.


Doeh asks about Anwunah and Stephens. Yes.  ASks if he was aware of the Heilmann project.  Werdlow says it came before the DBA when he was on the board.

Werdlow says Tyrone Clifton  presented the Heilman deal to the board, says the board relied heavily on the evaluation team's recommendations.

Doeh is showing meeting minutes now.  June 19 2003 DBA meeting. Ayanna Benson, Clifton, Beatty were all at the meeting.  Minutes show that Beatty called for a motion to provide a copy of the bid sheet for the Heilmann project.  Werdlow say it was his request, doesn't remember exactly why he needed the bid sheet, could have been one of many reasons.

Looking at the bid evaluations now of the 5 companies called in for interviews.

Werdlow recognizes JOA/Xcel, recognizes Clifton's name.  Says at time of the meeting he didn't know how the companies were ranked.

Sees that JOA/Xcel has the highest dollar amount.  Doeh asks about getting best bang for it's buck, did you know JOA/Xcel was ranked at the bottom? Evelyn objects. Over ruled. Werdlow looks at the document and says he now sees JOA/Xcel is ranked near the bottom.


Court is back in session.  Doeh is at the podium and Sean Werdlow is in the box. 

Doeh asks if Beatty and Miller were in charge of department heads who didn't report directly to the Mayor.  Werdlow says yes but ultimately everyone reported to the Mayor.

Doeh asks if the Mayor could un-appoint you.  Yes.

Werdlow says that the PUrchasing Director reported to him, and he reported to the Mayor.  Says he signed off on contracts for the City.  Says the Mayor could have removed him from his job to keep him from signing a contract but that never happened.

Werdlow says he served on the BDA, Detroit Building Authority, to speed along building projects for the departments.  SAys it was staffed with construction professionals and everyone went through the DBA.

WErdlow says you bet yes the DBA  got the directive.  SAys he was on the board and they were to make sure contracts were entered into properly.  Say Beatty, REv. Anthony, maybe Derrick Miller.  Beatty was the chair.

WErdlow says Bensen was the Director and reported to the Mayor. 


And the judge calls for a 20 minute break.


WErdlow says this is a directive, something you absolutely have to follow.  Doeh asks what isJones Lange Lasalle.  Werdlow says they're a real estate company.  Doeh asks about Staubach real estate. Werdlow says yes it's owned by Roger Staubach (from Wikipedia:Roger Thomas Staubach is a businessman, Heisman Trophy winner and Hall of Fame former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 until 1979.)

WErdlow says these companies worked with municipalities and looked over leases, says Staubach had the first contract, says they were trying to get the crime lab and talks had stalled.  Says the mayor was aware but not involved.

SAys once the decision was made, Stauback did the crime lab deal.  Says Miller brought in Jones Lange Lasalle.

Werdlow agrees that the Mayor had been kept in the loop the whole time.


Doeh is showing an email sent out to all the department directors.  Beatty and Bensen got it as well.

Werdlow says Bensen was an agency director, not a department director, and it looks like she got the email as well.

Doeh now showing the actual memo from Sept 2002, reads all contracts should be awarded through open and fair competitive process.  Werdlow says you go with the lowest bid to save money and it's important to spell out to directors how you want them to enter into contracts.

reads, should be governed by the highest ideals of honor and integrity. in all pubic and private relationships... so public may be served.  Says the public is taxpayers.

reads, conflict of interest.  WErdlow says any relationship that should be brought to the attention of others. reads city employees should seek of accept no personal favors.  Says it applies to everybody.

Doesn't say anything about suits though.


Beeckman is done.  Sean Werdlow is on the stand now.  He was the chief financial officer for the city of  Detroit.  When Kwame was in office. ERic Doeh is asking if he knows Beatty and Derrick Miller.  Werdlow says yes and they were at the cabinet level meetings as well.

Asks if he knows Bobby.  Says yes, at times a project would come up and kwame would say let's give it to my guy Bobby, I'd like my guy Bobby to get it, noting out of the ordinary, just that he'd like Bobby to get the contract.  Says he can't recall any other contractors treated this way but says Kwame probably did over time.

EVelyn asks if Werdlow authored a memo on ethics.  Says he didn't author it but did work on it, says current directives were outdated and in some cases needed to be completely revised.  Says he shared those recommendations with Kwame because he needed assistance working with the other department directors.


Evelyn is back, he's wearing a dark suit, white shirt, and blue tie.  He's asking Beeckman about the DBA meeting on June 19th, 2003.  Meeting minutes.  EVelyn asks if they discussed and approved a number of projects.  White construction/Xcel for a contract at Cobo. Beeckman says it looks like it yes.

EVelyn now showing the letter showing the 5 companies that were selected to give interviews on Heilman.  Judge Edmunds says Agent Beeckman testified to the award of the project.

Evelyn says the bids proposals were opened before the text messages shown by the prosecution.  This was a very confusing segment, it looked like Evelyn as trying to show that text messages from the day before the contract award were actually talking about the earlier letter asking the 5 companies to give oral presentations.  That letter was way earlier.


Jim Thomas is up now, he's wearing a dark blue suit, light blue shirt and a dark tie.  I don't know who paid for his suit.

He's asking for the text messages from Kwame to Beatty,  outlining the lines of Authority and the 6 lines that lead to Wilks.  Point is Mayor is far removed.  Beeckman agrees she never talked to Kwame about Heilman.

Thomas asks if he heard her testimony about being threatened. Thomas asks if he knows Wilks job was in jeopardy. Beeckman says he doesn't know what was contemplated but no action was taken.

Thomas asks if text shows Beatty was at the DBA Board meeting.  Thomas is pointing out that the messages are talking about the Detroit development authority and refer to Cobo renovations.  Beeckman says he knows about the renovations of Cobo and agrees they are not talking about Heilman.

Thomas has nothing further.


What a bunch of clothes hogs.  Beeckman read a bunch more texts setting up meetings with Nick the Tailor between Bobby, Anwunah, Stephenson, and that Bobby paid for the suits.

So Contractor are buying suits for Kwame and Bobby is buying suits for other city officials.  Detroit, best dressed City in the world.  If they spent as much time working on the city's problems as they did on clothes we may not be facing a budget crisis.

So agent Beeckman is probably wearing an off the rack suit from the Suit Warehouse and Bobby and Kwame are sitting there in expensive tailored custom fit suits with expensive shirts, gold cuff links, and Kwame is wearing a bow tie.

Enough ranting.  Beeckman testifies that Anwunah the deputy director of the Rec Dept referred to Bobby as Boss.


The jury is asking Blackwell to put the texts back on the screen.  Now they're moving on to new messages between Beatty and  Kwame.  Beeckman says this is from the day of the Heilmann award.

Beatty tells Kwame she's at the DBA board meeting.

More texts, Vincent Anwunah and Bobby about suits.

Bobby: Sir I am calling to remind you as you requested. Lee was in my office when I tried to reach you he wants to know time and when we are going.

I can meet you at the tailor at 1:30 today

a: where is the tailor located... hey loosen up.

B; on Clifford street.

A: yes he will be ready

This is Nick the Tailor, Nick Soreno, 112 Clifford street.

They also refer to Lee Stephenson in the texts.


BEeckman is describing the committees role and Benson's role in deciding who would get the contract for Heilmann.  Thomas asks for a sidebar.

They're back.  Beeckman says Bensen reported to Beatty.  Says June 19th 2003 is when the bid for Heilman went out.  Showing texts from Bobby from the day before.

Anwunah: congratulations on tomorrow.... your team got Heilman.

Bobby replies yeah I know, also call that guy from DWSD.

Now from Bobby and Beatty

BobbY; Thanks you, I love you, you are for sure my sister

Beatty: what did I do?

Bobby: Bensen

Beatty: Oh you know I was going to take care of you.


AGent Beeckman is now on the stand.  Blackwell for the prosecution is doing the questioning.  She's asking Beeckman about Wilks testimony about the threat.

Beeckman says he reviewed texts from Dick Hautau -in charge of landscaping and lee Stephenson then deputy director, and Vincent Awuna.

Bobby: Heilmann Rec center is it a design building and when is it coming out.

Awuna: yes is coming out this week or next.

The rest of the messages talk about Bobby needing to meet Anwunah before the RFP comes out.

Blackwell asks who was in charge.  Beeckman says Kwame's cousin Elizabeth Benson.

More texts,  Bobby is taking to Christine Beatty and asking if she met with Benson yet.  She hadn't and Bobby replied, "good."


They're back.  Evelyn is introducing several documents, probably at the Judge's direction to speed things up.

He and Thomas hold a brief consultation at the podium the Evelyn approaches the witness with the documents.

Evelyn asks if they all come from the JOA/Xcel team.  Clifton says it appears so.

The documents are about pool temperature requirements.

Evelyn asks if Heilman was a good facility.  Clifton give a half hearted, "It's alright."  and there is no redirect so Clifton is excused.


EVelyn asks if JOA/Xcel communicated with him during the project.  Clifton says yes.

Evelyn introduces a April 2004 Memo from Woodhouse at Xcel.  Clifton reads, as we discussed we have not received Zoning approval ... causing delays.. will result in the he building enclosure work being pushed into the winter time.

Yesterday the prosecution made a point about the delays and specifically referred to the building enclosure.

Clifton says that's important because it costs less for heat.

Another Memo, July 2003, this is for Heilman as well.  Says JOA/Xcel is requesting environmental assessment.  Clifton says he doesn't remember this memo but it's a typical correspondence.

Judge asks for a sidebar.


Evelyn is now showing the Request for Proposal for Heilmann.  Shows Rodney Stokes was director of recreation department.

Evelyn asks if a physical needs assessment was done.  Yes.

Turns to list of what's involved in assessment and some of the design features proposed.

Clifton reads: Detroit building authority reserves the fight to reject all proposals reviewed... to negotiate directly.  Evelyn asks what that means.  Clifton reiterates what he just read.

Evelyn asks if this is for information and planning purposes only.  Clifton says Yes, that's what's written in the RFP.  A juror asks Evelyn to leave it on the screen for another minute.

Evelyn asks if the city is notoriously slow in paying.  Clifton says yes.


Judge Edmunds asks Evelyn to slow down.  Says you think fast and  speak fast but we need to get a transcript.

EVlyn asks if he dealt with LaJuan Wilks, was she the client.  Yes she represented the Recreation Department.

She communicated changes and design features.  Clifton says I'm sure, yes.

Evelyn asks about Wilks run in with Ferguson.  Asks if she told him what Bobby said.  Clifton says I'm sure she did.

Evelyn asks if she though she was upset.  Yes.

Asks if he told her that Bobby "pops off" sometimes.  Clifton says he probably verbalized that to some effect.  says he told her she didn't need to worry about her job.


"all rise"  Jim Thomas alerted the Judge the Kwame will be back in one minute.  The Jury is filing in.  I didn't see Kwame duck out. 

Susan Van Dusen is back in the court room  today, looking fit and chipper, after a week of rest.

The judge greets the jury and welcome back Van Dusen.  Reminds Tyrone Clifton he's still under oath.

Gerald Evelyn is at the podium.  He asks if Clifton was the project manager of Heilman.  Yes.

Is the Detroit Building Authority a quasi governmental Board.  Yes.

Clifton says he ran his own construction business before joining the Detroit Building Authority.

Evelyn asks if he approaches his job from a management perspective, has he ever yelled at contractors, have they yelled at him.  Says yes, doesn't happen often though.  Says he never had any yelling matches with Ferguson.

EVelyn asks if he has to push contractors on time  tables.  Yes.

Asks if Michael Woodhouse and Calvin Hall were knowledgeable. Yes.


Atticus Finch would feel at home in this court room.  Except for the dark blue-green wall to wall carpet the furnishings are all  dark wood and leather.  The walls are lined with 6 foot high light gray marble, and above that they rise white to the ceiling.  There are dark, well used, pews in the gallery like you'd find in old world church.  The only difference is the electronics.  The Judge has a small laptop computer on her bench, and there are microphones at the bench, the podium and in the witness box.   Finch would probably view the projector as a revelation or modern technology.


The attorneys are in the court room.  We're hearing that there is going to be a 15 minute delay before the session starts this morning.  The lawyers just filed into the judges chambers.   bobby and Kwame are sitting in their seats at the back of the defense table near the rail separating them from the gallery.  They are smiling, looking relaxed as the recline in the leather chairs.


Good Morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House.  Today, "the premise is to love your people."  Being a member of the media I'm sometimes approached and taken to task on behalf of all my media brethren.  This morning, Eddie stopped me in the hall to do just that. Eddie is a veteran court watcher.  He picks a court case, sits in the gallery, and watches the Judge, the Prosecutors, the Defense Lawyers, the Jury, and the defendants.  He is a citizen with a calling. You may not think one person, with no official title, no power of office, or standing with the court or the bar, could make a difference.  But he does, just by being in the  court room.  Someone is watching and that's not lost on the folks who do business in the Federal Court.

Eddie knows all the players, the Judges say hello to him.  The court employees all know him, and smile when they see him in the morning.  He can recited cases and decisions and tell you how the system works.  He can steer you to people who can answer questions, and sometimes, like this morning he can ask a good question.   One that we in the media didn't pay enough attention to according to Eddie.

LaJuan Wilks testified that she felt threatened by Bobby Ferguson. At the time, Wilks worked for the Detroit Recreation Department over seeing capital projects, like the construction of the Heilmann Community Center in this particular case.  She said Ferguson told her, "the only reason you have this job is because you're black."

The irony of this was not lost on Eddie.  As he pointed out to me, the whole defense strategy has been to build Bobby up as a champion for minorities. He wasn't showing much love for his people, according to Eddie, when he told Ms. Wilkes why she thought she had her job.  As Eddie observed, Bobby's Attorney Gerald Evelyn has not missed a chance to point out that Bobby runs a minority owned company is headquartered in Detroit and qualifies for the credits awarded by the city to those bidding on city work.  As Eddie points out, being black is why Bobby got city contracts.  So, as Eddie tells me, who is he to tell someone that's the only reason she has her job? 

Eddie is black, he has been watching the city for a long time, and we can see a little of that reflected back, when he says that "the premise is to love your people."

Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News.  You can contact him at

Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices