DETROIT (WWJ) The prosecution put an IRS agent on the witness stand Thursday in the corruption trial against ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
IRS agent Ron Sauer followed a money trail that he said led right to the former mayor’s front door, claiming the mayor had some illegally gotten gains.
But during a break in the action, Kilpatrick’s attorney Jim Thomas said nothing was proven.
“That’s what we’re in the process of doing, it’s not our obligation, nor do we have any duty to explain the cash,” Thomas said. “The government has to prove there was in fact something illegal going on. We’re in the middle of an exam that will probably take a few more hours, I suggest patience.”
Checks were introduced, ranging from $25 to $1,000, and explained as birthday gifts to Kilpatrick. Thomas said if checks were given at the gathering, it makes sense that cash was handed out, too, and gifts are not taxable to the recipient.
On the other side, Sauer said the money trail showed $500,000 above and beyond his salary flowing through the mayor’s hands between 2002 and 2008. His salary totaled $605,000 in the same time period. The IRS alleged during his time in office Kilpatrick spent $1.5 million, which the agent said exceeded his salary by $840,000.
The trial will resume Friday. Included in the corruption allegations are Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and contractor Bobby Ferguson, who allegedly ran a campaign to enrich themselves through Kilpatrick’s role in the mayor’s office.