DETROIT (AP/WWJ) — A former aide to Kwame Kilpatrick ended the first leg of his testimony Thursday by saying he delivered a $10,000 bribe to the then-Detroit mayor in a restaurant bathroom.
Derrick Miller said the money came from developers and was solicited by Kilpatrick. It came in an envelope full of hundreds, Miller testified before prosecutors turned him over to defense attorneys for cross-examination.
“The mayor said cool and that was it,” reporter Vickie Thomas said, recounting Miller’s testimony about Kilpatrick’s reaction to opening the envelope full of $100 bills in an Asian Village restaurant bathroom.
The kickback came about through Miller’s role as an advocate for pension fund financing for Asian Village in Detroit, per testimony. Miller also admitted he got $568,000 himself through arranging a lease deal for GM.
There was an opportunity for real estate broker Robert Shumake to be involved in GM’s selling off some of its properties and Miller testified he entered into a financial agreement that would give him compensation if Shumake was able to purchase the properties from GM. Shumake sought funding through the city’s pension board and Miller put in a good word for him.
Miller said he talked to Detroit city attorney John Johnson about whether it was proper to enter into the arrangement with Shumake, said he got Johnson’s blessing, then netted the $568,000, and put it in the bank account of a company he founded.
“I didn’t want it to be known that it was me. I didn’t want anyone on the pension board to have an idea I was involved in that transaction in any way,” Miller said on the stand.
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and pal Bobby Ferguson are charged with rigging contracts and taking payoffs. Miller was a defendant, too, until pleading guilty to corruption in 2011.
Miller has known Kilpatrick since high school and served as Detroit’s chief administrative officer when Kilpatrickwas mayor. He answered questions from prosecutors over three days, telling jurors that he collected thousands of dollars in bribes for Kilpatrick and supported Ferguson’s efforts to get city business.
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