Monday, November 21, 2011

Feds Declare War on Detroit’s Gangster mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, Charge Him with Everything but the Murder of Tamara Greene

Feds: Kwame Kilpatrick Given $10K in Restroom
Thursday, 17 November 2011, 9:26 p.m. EST

By Amy Lange

DETROIT (WJBK) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is living large in his new Texas home. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors rolled out another indictment Wednesday.

It's 100 pages long and alleges bid rigging, extortion, witness tampering and obstruction in the case against the Kilpatrick enterprise -- Kwame, his dad Bernard, his buddy Bobby Ferguson and former Water and Sewerage Director Victor Mercado.

"At least it appears they have evidence that would put money, cash, into the former mayor's pocket," said former federal prosecutor and Wayne State law professor Peter Henning.

He reviewed the documents. Among the revelations of kickbacks and shakedowns that Kilpatrick told trusted aide Derrick Miller to try to get some cash from the Asian Village developer, who was seeking money for his project. It's alleged the developer gave Miller $10,000 in cash, which he gave to Kilpatrick in a restroom at the developer's restaurant in Detroit.

"Now you have someone who was in the room, who took the money and then passed it on," Henning explained. "That can be very powerful evidence. It's no longer as much of a circumstantial case, and here you have an eyewitness."

[N.S.: Hey, Prof. Dunce, a circumstantial case is the strongest kind there is! It’s eyewitness testimony that is the least reliable.]

That eyewitness could be problematic, as well. Miller was part of Kilpatrick's inner circle charged along with his boss and now cooperating with the feds. His credibility will be challenged.

"This is somebody who facilitated and took bribes. That doesn't help your credibility on the witness stand," Henning said.

However, U.S. attorneys allege plenty of other evidence of pay to play against Kilpatrick -- that he promised a company $10-million from the city to open a House of Blues inside Ford Field, then reneged on the deal when they wouldn't hire his father.

The House of Blues did not return phone calls.

As for Bobby Ferguson, he and Kilpatrick are accused of bringing in tens of millions of dollars in ill-gotten contracts.

On Wednesday, the feds were back at Ferguson's office seizing property.

"At some point as his lawyer you have to think about the possibility of a deal," said Henning.

Calls to attorneys for Ferguson and Kilpatrick were not returned, though Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick's lawyer, told the papers there will be no deals. They're going to trial.

[Thanks to reader-researcher RC.]

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