DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A former state senator is in the witness chair Thursday morning in the federal corruption trial of Detroit’s ex-Mayor.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dan DeGrow was asked about approving state grants in 2000 when Kilpatrick was a member of the State House.
Jurors, who had Wednesday off for the Jewish holiday, went home Tuesday after hearing a Detroit police officer say he was threatened into dropping misdemeanor trash violations against Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson in 2002. The jury could hear from the officer’s wife on Thursday.
Officer Michael Fountain says he was confronted in the courthouse by Ferguson and two members of Kilpatrick’s security team. He says Ferguson told him, “Your family wouldn’t like this… It would be in the best interest for you to cancel the tickets.”
Fountain said he feared for his family’s safety, so he dismissed the tickets.
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, Ferguson and the city’s former water boss Victor Mercado are charged with fraud, bribery, tax crimes and a racketeering conspiracy. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Kilpatricks are accused of shaking down contractors who wanted business or favors from Detroit city hall. The government claims Kilpatrick received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash through bribery, extortion and other methods when he was mayor, from 2002 to fall 2008.
Kilpatrick resigned from office amid an unrelated text-messaging scandal in 2008 and subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating probation in that case. He now lives in Grand Prairie, Texas.
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