By Christy Strawser
CBS Detroit Managing Editor
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Those who have only witnessed his tense-faced courtroom demeanor may have forgotten something: Detroit’s former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick loves a laugh.
He loves joviality so much that Kilpatrick, who reportedly sweated through his custom-looking suit during testimony in his federal corruption trial Thursday, took a moment at the end of the day for a hearty social media guffaw.
In response to someone who Tweeted a message about “old lady” Emma Bell testifying that she pulled fundraising cash from her ample bra and handed it to the former mayor, Kwame wrote this: “If this case was in another State, not paid for by taxpayers, & my life was not on the line, this ish would be laughable.”
He was referencing what witnessed called a brutal day of testimony where Bell explained the $200,000 in kickbacks she said she was forced to hand over during the former mayor’s reign.
Kilpatrick’s defense attorneys have portrayed Bell as a convicted tax cheat and gambling addict with a drinking problem. In earlier testimony, it was revealed she had gambled $800,000 at Detroit’s Greektown Casino.
She pleaded guilty a year ago and agreed to testify against Kilpatrick in exchange for a lesser sentence, which has not yet been finalized.
Bell’s deals with Kilpatrick are part of the government’s broad case against the ex-mayor. Kilpatrick, his father and longtime friend Bobby Ferguson are on trial for suspicion of running a criminal enterprise out of the mayor’s office. They each face 30 years in prison.
Scandal followers will recall Kilpatrick’s downfall started with the Detroit Free Press outing sexy text messages between him and Chief Of Staff Christine Beatty, revealing the two had an affair and tried to cover it up by firing a police official who got too close to revealing the truth. It came to light after Kilpatrick had already testified he had no romantic relationship with Beatty, setting up his first trial for perjury.
He had a favorite tagline in the text messages: “LOL.”
@_mrwinn3rstorm If this case was in another State, not paid for by taxpayers, & my life was not on the line, this ish would be laughable.—
KwameKilpatrick (@KwameAndFamily) October 04, 2012