Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 53 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 53

Updated:
DETROIT -

We're done with testimony for the day. The Judge reminds everyone to get here early tomorrow because anther jut is being seated and there will be long lines.

M.L. will have the highlights tonight on Fox 2 news, and make sure you read his Takeaway on MyFoxDetroit.com it's outstanding (not that they aren't all) This one will strike a chord with anyone who thinks people should stand up and do the right thing, and what the right thing should be in the City of Detroit.

11:52

Judge Edmunds tells the jury Pazcewicz is not an expert (on whether this document is a fake) she can only talk about what was on the document.

Chutkow asks what was on the document that caused you to investigate further.

Rataj objects. Another sidebar.

The judge stepped around saying Pazcewicz can't say why she thinks the document is phony, only what made her investigate further. Rataj is trying desperately to keep her from saying she thinks the document is fake. This whole thing revolves around when Bobby said he started work on the sinkhole disaster and when the government says he started. the governments argument is that the text messages show he schemed to get in on the work. The defense says that's nonsense because he was already working. This is the pistol text that says bobby had a great idea on how to "move in" on the job. A key to conspiracy.

Judge Edmunds says this is more complicated than anticipated to they'll stop now, they were going to stop early anyway.

11:46

Rataj was on fire but now steps down, so does Beeckman, Chutkow brings agent Pazcewicz to the stand. Talking about STerling heights sinkhole. Text message:

bobbY:you got to get with victor on the sterling heights job he said you were meeting him out here. Finally Chutkow leaves a message up long enough to get.

another text between Kwame and Bobby.

bobby: we need to meet on ho I move in I got a great idea sir holla in the am owe Geno is NY answer service LOL wants me to do hauling.

Chutkow asks what Ferguson's first day on the sinkhole job was. couple day after the text message.

Chutkow showing a daily record of events documents relating to the sink hole. FEI mobilized equipments on sit 6:30p.m. Pasceiwicz says this is the document you relied on to get the date FEI started working on the sinkhole.

Chutkow asks if a defense exhibit shows that FEI was working at the site a day or two after the collapse. AGent P says the defense exhibit was inconstant with the record.

Chutkow puts up defense exhibit. pazcewicz says the date itself on the exhibit was a concern, says she looked at it after she got off the stand. Says if you go to the top of the page ...

Defense asks for a sidebar....

Rataj was on fire but now steps down, so does Beeckman, Chutkow brings agent Pazcewicz to the stand.  Talking about STerling heights sinkhole.  Text message:

bobbY:you got to get with victor on the sterling heights job he said you were meeting him out here.  Finally Chutkow leaves a message up long enough to get.

another text between Kwame and Bobby.

bobby: we need to meet on ho I move in I got a great idea sir holla in the am owe Geno is NY answer service LOL wants me to do hauling.

Chutkow asks what Ferguson's first day on the sinkhole job was.  couple day after the text message.

Chutkow showing a daily record of events documents relating to the sink hole.  FEI mobilized equipments on sit 6:30p.m.  pascewicz says this is the document you relied on to get the date FEI started working on the sinkhole.

Chutkow asks if a defense exhibit shows that FEI was working at the site a day or two after the collapse. AGent P says  the defense exhibit was inconstant with the record.

Chutkow puts up defense exhibit.  pazcewicz says the date itself on the exhibit was a concern, says she looked at it after she got off the stand.  Says if you go to the top of the page ...

Defense asks for a sidebar....

11:35


Chutkow puts up text asks Beeckman to read, "we can use this to our advantage"

ASks if Ferguson was at the time unhappy with the percentage he was receiving.  Beeckman says yes.

Chutkow hand him the Walbridge document that Rataj was harping on about WPM construction not having numbers.

Beeckman says if you take the two pages together, sewer work and mass excavation for Bobby added together you get a number that's 23% higher that WPM. 

Chutkow shows the totals page with the WPM number and Beeckman says the WPM number is lower.

Chutkow puts up the memo now from Cruickshank complaining about Ferguson horning in on the contract.  it says if anyone should be complaining about having their work cut it should be WPM because Ferguson cut them out.

Chutkow puts up the had written contract now.  asks if it was an unusual thing to do.  yes.

See what it says Walbridge 'Intend" to subcontract Walbridge.  Yes.

See where it says wAlbridge will submit Ferguson as the subcontractor on Patton park. Yes.

What is the usual fee for the over seeing contractor.  5%.

Did WAlbreige get 5%. NO.

and there were memos to that effect.  Yes.

Rataj up, you agreed with me that was FEI's project.  Yes.

you saw the release they wanted FEI to sign right.  Yes.

It was their job.  Beeckman says it was there job as a subcontractor.

Rataj says all Walbridge wanted to do was take a fee.  Beeckman's says I don't think that was true.

Rataj says you see this letter that says I was in error.  Yes.

Rataj says let's go to the contract.  He puts up the hand written contract that says WaLBRIDGE intends to hire Ferguson if they get the contract.

Rataj says we know Ferguson was awarded a portion of the work.  Beeckman says we don't know anything that was a letter Walbridge came up with a cover story.

Rataj puts up the "no numbers" document again, all I'm asking about is mass excavation, I'm only asking about mass excavation work.  Beeckman that's what it says.

Rataj, Ferguson was the lowest bidder.  Beeckman, if you ignore the rest of the exhibit.

Rataj this document.  Beeckman says you can't tell who the lowest bidder is because you can't know because there's no number on the page.

Rataj we've established that there's no number every which way from Sunday.  Judge Edmund jumps says we HSVE established it every which way form Sunday move on.


11:20

Rataj asks if the construction business is based on relationships.  Beeckman says in part.

Rataj asks if Tony Soave said he had befriended Governor. Engler?  Beeckman says he doesn't remember if that was testimony or in notes.  RAtaj says will you trust me that, and did Soave says he had relationships with other politicians.  Yes.

Did you hear other testimony that engineers tried to steer contracts to their friends.  Beeckman's says steer contracts? I don't think.

Chutkow objects, says summarizing is getting out of hand.  Judge says you can continue this line of questioning but more along with it.

Rataj asks if based on testimony, and Soave said this, constructing business is not for the faint of heart.  Beeckman says it's a tough business.

Rataj says it's the bottom line is relationship is how you get things done.  Beeckman's says it's part of it.

Rataj is done.  Thomas and Shea pass on cross.  Chutkow comes up on re-direct.

11:14

"All rise"  court is session, Judge Nancy Edmunds is back on the bench, although I've seen her chair, it's cushy, not a bench at all.

Beeckman is standing in the box, hands crossed behind his back, waiting for the jury to take their seats.

"be seated" says Judge Edmunds and Rataj resumes.

he shows a text message from yesterday.

Bobby: If Torgo call about Meah not calling chin back is because of him not paying FEI for the parking garage.

bobby: it's his team there disputing 57,000 for work we performed on Mack and Woodward typical where folk shit when we talk I tell what Walbridge people are thing ant shit change I just a (expletive) with some power thou.

Rataj asks him if he's trying to tie this text message to Patton Park and Baby creek.  Beeckman says he thinks it is.

Rataj says but it talks about the parking garage and Torgo had nothing to do with Baby creek.  Beeckman says right.

Rataj asks if Beeckman interviewed him.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj asks if he's trying to mislead the jury.  Beeckman's says no, part of the message talks about the parking garage but in the middle it talks about Walbridge.

A juror asks about Amru Meah,  The judge says first name Amru, second name Meah.

Rataj asks about notes from interview of Torgo.

Rataj totally abandons that line of questioning and moves on to a document showing application for payment of "mobilization" fees.  FErguson got two payments totaling about 450,000.

Next page, another application for payment, FEI, Xcel and a lot of other contractors working for Ferguson got paid.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj turns the page again and asks if the bottom line is that more than 10 million went to pay other contractors and buy other things.  Beeckman says that's what the document says.

Rataj asks if at the very beginning of his examination by Chutkow, not yesterday, what's today, never mind, this text message is between Ferguson and Kilpatrick.

ASks if Bobby is trying Kwame know that Rakolta at Walbridge is trying to get a meeting with the Mayor.  Beeckman says yes.

Asks if Bernard Parker was saying he could help put the meeting together.  Beeckman says he worked for Walbridge and the folks at Walbridge thought Parker could make it happen.

Rataj says Rakolta, with his stature as CEO of Walbridge, could have gotten a meeting with the Mayor.  Beeckman says he couldn't that's why he was asking parker.

Rataj says we heard Derrick Miller say persons of this stature could get meetings with the Mayor, asks if Rakolta finally did meet with the mayor.  Beeckman says eventually.

Rataj asks if Parker was trying to get a meeting with the mayor and if that finally happened.  Beeckman says that's true

11:03

Beeckman's says these are not my notes.  Beeckman says he interviewed Torgo on the phone.

Rataj asks if these refresh his memory.  No he wasn't there for this interview.

Rataj says then all I need you to admit is what Walbridge had to do with the parking garage.  Beeckman says all I can do is read these notes and tell you what they say, I wasn't at that interview.

Rataj says let's look at your 302 (cover page for the notes the agents take listing time place and persons interviewed)

10:44

RAtaj wrapped that up in a nice little bow.  If Bobby was managing that part of the Baby Creek Patton Park project then he should get the 5 % management fee. Seems like a credible argument.  And Bobby even compromised on the management fee so what's the complaint now?  Well, Eddie set me straight during the break.  Bobby weaseled his way into the job in the first place so shouldn't be getting anything at all.  But Rataj has at least placed a reasonable argument before the jury,  and maybe even reasonable doubt.

10:28

After that feisty exchange the Judge calls for a break.


10:27

RAtaj shows letter complaining that a high placed city official put bobby in the deal, asks Beeckman if he remembers testifying about it, says we'll put this in perspective.

Rataj says that was dated October 1 2003.  Yes.

Now he puts up another letter from the same guy.  Beeckman says it's supposed to be from the same guy but didn't sign it.  says Walbridge was afraid the first letter made bobby angry so came up with this.  Says he doesn't know if Cruickshank, who wrote the first letter, actually went along with it.

Beeckman reads,  "I was in error of some of my statements... and Ferguson was awarded a portion of the work based on monetary considerations... I hope this clears up..."

Rataj puts the contract back up, points to the first paragraph showing the excavation work as a subcontractor on baby creek.

ASks if he agrees that the work was for excavation.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj puts up a 3 page document, it's a chart, at the top it says sewer work.  Beeckman says it's Walbridge's internal review comparing subcontractor bid amounts.

It lists all the subcontractors across the top, next page had structural site work at the top. both have dollar figures under the contractor names.  Last page is mass excavation.

Rataj says as this relates to Cruickshank letter, see where it says base bid.  Yes.

See the WPM company column, there's no total bid number.  Beeckman says not at the top no.

Rataj shows next page, no number for WPM.  Beeckman says not at the top.

Mass Excavation.  WPM no number.  Beeckman says no.

Rataj says FEI was awarded the mass excavating work.  Yes.

They did' get the sewer work.  Beeckman says I can't say by looking at this.

RAtaj says other than the ten million of Patton Park they didn't get any other work.  Beeckman says this is the hand written contract that only says WAlbridge would give Bobby work if they got the contract.

Rataj asks if FEI did sewer work at Baby Creek.  Beeckman says he doesn't know.

Rataj asks if structural work.  Beeckman says he doesn't know one way or the other.

Rataj asks if Ferguson was the lowest bidder.  Beeckman's says there's no number for WPM so he can't say who is the lowest bidder.

Rataj asks if he has any documents that shows WPM had the lowest bidder.  Beeckman says there's a number at the bottom.

Rataj says there's no number at the bottom either.  Beeckman's says turn the page, it's totaled on the next page.

Rataj hollers there's no number, it's a government document you can't convict on speculation.

Chutkow objects.  Judge Edmunds says you don't have to show him the next page but Chutkow can show it.

Rataj says there is no next page.  I'm only asking about mass excavation which is what Ferguson's role was under Walbridge.

Beeckman says there no number on that page either top or bottom.

A juror asks to see the page more closely..

10:06

Rataj puts up the agreement Walbridge made with Ferguson, asks if it shows excavation work Bobby was supposed to do.  Correct.

Shows allowance for Patton park.  Correct.

Rataj asks about email where Bobby was complain that Walbridge wanted 5 percent of Patton Park money, that Walbridge wanted half a million dollars to do nothing.  Beeckman says that's not true.

Beeckman's Mays Walbridge and Ferguson both wanted a construction management fee.

Rataj asks if Ferguson was going to do the work.  Beeckman's says Walbridge was the contractor of the overall project and Bobby was the contractor on Patton Park.  Says the 5 percent fee was  standard for the contract manager.

A juror asks to see the contract, Rataj puts it back on the screen.

Rataj asks if Ferguson had 10 million to construct Patton Park and not a dollar more. 

Rataj asks if WAlbridge had taken the 500,000 that Ferguson would only have 9.5 million to do the project.  Beeckman says that's possible.

Rataj shows a contact from Walbridge asking for FEI to release Walbridge from the project.  Beeckman says that's what it says.

RAtaj asks if Walbridge and Ferguson finally reached middle ground but Walbridge got money out of what Ferguson was supposed to use to construct Patton Park.  Beeckman says  correct.

The jury is asking what this document is.  Jugged Edmund read construction contract change authorization.

Rataj asks if Ferguson was objecting to taking a construction management fee but compromised with about 3.5%.  Beeckman says yes, we'll go with that.


9:50

Rataj asks if time was of the essence.  Beeckman says that's what Mercado said.

Rataj asks if Kwame signed it in April of 2003.  yes.

Rataj showing a text message from Anwunah to Ferguson.

VA:They want Walbridge to collect 500,000 on this contract what do you think

B: Hell not that's %5 they are crazy fuck them and Walbridge that' theft

VA: ok

B: you were right they got a deal going this is bullshit

VA: the guy...  and Rata pulled it off the screen and put up a Bernard Parker email to Edwards at grants and asks if Parker was trying to get inside information.

Beeckman says he was trying to find out what was going on.

Rataj says but Jackson hadn't made her decision so Parker was trying to find out what Edwards knew about what her decision was going to be.  Beeckman says true.

Rataj now showing documents from the bid verification package. date is Feb 6 2003.

Rataj goes to page five and asks Beeckman about a number of allowances, asks if the DWSD engineers estimated it at $73 million.  Yes,

Was Patton Park going to be done at the same time as Baby Creek.  Yes.

Rataj asks if Patton Park was included because of PRoximity.  Beeckman says the water department needed  the land the Rec dept had and the Rec dept needed the water department money.

Rataj asks if 10 million was set aside for Patton Park.  yes.

Rataj asks if Walbridge total bid was 73 million.  yes.

9:40

emails between Edward and Fujita now showing protest filed by W-3/Barton Mallow.

 Rataj asks if DWSD was under the gun by the federal government and the MDEQ to meet a  march 1 deadline.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj asks if Edwards at DWSD contracts and grants writes to his Boss Gary Fujita saying that Jackson will render a decision.  Beeckman says yes.

Asks if she consulted attorney in city law department. Yes.

ASks if the letter says Walbridge would be lowest bidder. Yes.

Asks if Jackson finally did decide that Walbridge was the lowest bidder.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj now showing letter from Edwards to Thomas DeRiemaker in DWSD about Patton Park showing the Bids, Equalized bids and who won.  Walbridge won?  Yes.

Rataj now showing memo from Mercado showing the bid opening was postponed due to patent infringement claims.  Beeckman says yes.

Rataj asks if lawyers were involved and slowed the whole process down.  Beeckman laughs and says I'm sure.

Rataj asks if he sees where the letter says they can't meet deadlines under normal contract processing.  Yes.

Rataj asks if another process was used, the special administrative order.  Yes.

9:30

Mike Rataj on cross examination.  Judge Edmunds tells him if he has a lot of exhibits to read them all in.  Rataj says they are intertwined so it would be less confusing to do them one at a time.

Rataj asks if PC-48 is a low bid contract,  He's talking about Baby Creek sewer repair and showing a document outlining the bids on the project.

Rataj asks if Walsh Construction without the equalization credits had the lowest bid.  Beeckman says yes.

previous document back on screen now.  This is from Ron Houseman to Rakolta of Walbridge, says bids on baby creek were very close, it looks like we (Walbridge) have a job but it will probably be a court fight.

A Juror is now asking Rataj if he can speak into the mic and not stand at the projector where they can't hear him.

Rataj asks if Beeckman agrees the letter says it's going to be a dogfight.  Yes.

Rataj asks if Walbridge though they'd get the job because of the equalization credits.  yes.

A juror is now asking what the document exhibit number is.  Rataj says this came up during Bernard Parker's testimony.

Rataj puts up another Walbridge/Parker exhibit.  This is to SCott Penrod at WAlbridge from Daniel Edwards the government grant analyst.

Rataj not puts up the WAlsh Construction protest letter.  Beeckman says he may have see it but doesn't remember it.

Rataj asks if he can see it's to Audrey Jackson in the City purchasing division.  Yes.

Rataj asks if he sees the paragraph that says WAslh is filing an official protest.  Yes.

9:19

Still waiting for the judge.  I just read an advance copy of M.L. Elrick's Takeaway. It's a  must read for the people of Detroit.  Make sure you take a look.

"all rise"  Judge Nancy Edmunds is on the bench.
9:08

Agent Beeckman is on the stand.  Mark Chutkow asking him about more text messages between Vincent Anwunah a supervisor in the Recreation Department and Bobby Ferguson

VA:  did you get the number?

Bobby: do you have a copy of the letter with you

VA:  I've got it in my hotel room can I do it later.

Sorry, Chutkow did' leave the messages on the screen long enough for me to type them in.

Beeckman is telling the jury that Anwunah is talking about the Walbridge letter saying Bobby can't have more then 2% of the Patton Park construction project.


Beeckman is talking about a memo from Walbridge now that talks about the bid opening for the sub contractors, to see who is the low bidder.  It says Ferguson objected to the public bid opening.

More texts.

bobby: BAby Creek  told you I would call on you when I need help fucking victor I don't need DWSD to sit in on the bid opening

Kwame:will call in 30 min's

Bobby:Thanks but don't call in the meeting with Walbridge now I find you later.

Agent Beeckman now explaining that the total amount paid on the project to Ferguson was more than $f13 million.

9:08

Still waiting for the judge.  I just read an advance copy of M.L. Elrick's Takeaway. It's a  must read for the people of Detroit.  Make sure you take a look.

"all rise"  Judge Nancy Edmunds is on the bench.

8:54

Good Morning from the Theodore J. Levin Federal Court House in Downtown Detroit.

I was chatting with Eddie on the way in this morning. The hall ways of court house were quiet, almost like a sanctuary.  Eddie and I talked about faith and atonement, and the prosecution's star witness Derrick Miller.

The last questions Miller faced were about his faith.  Kwame Kilpatrick's attorney Jim Thomas attacked Miller's credibility by saying, "you didn't like to go to church."  The set up here is that Miller, when asked if his family, and getting back to his family, was his number one priority, said he had several priorities.  Under re-direct by Mark Chutkow he explained that his family, his faith, atonement, and redemption, were all priorities.  He says he doesn't rank them, they are all important.

Thomas kept attacking him about going to church until Miller finally, calmly, and without hesitation or apology, said he wasn't Christian.

It would rankly me a bit, too, if I were Jewish, Moslem, or Buddhist, to have to sit in a church merely for political reasons.  Church is big in Detroit politics.

And this is where Eddie asks a good question.  Where are all the church leaders now who once supported Kwame Kilpatrick?  What are they saying about him?  And who are they supporting now, and why?

Politicians know the importance the churches play when campaigning in Detroit.  Even Dick DeVoss made the rounds when he ran for governor.  But Eddie wants to know, where are those religious leaders now.

Jim Thomas was adamant that Derrick Miller was a poor example of a man because he put his faith on the same level as his family.  There are some who might argue that you can't have one without the other.  But as Eddie points out, we're not hearing from those people now.


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

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