Included were allegations that Cobo Hall contractor Karl Kado knew he had to deliver $10,000 cash to the mayor’s office anytime he got a call from Kilpatrick asking him to stop by. Another businessman seeking City Hall contracts said he got no interest from the Kilpatrick Administration until he paid $4,800 to get the mayor’s suits out of layaway — and was then invited to bid on a contract.
But there was a catch, he testified, because he soon learned Kilpatrick’s longtime best friend Bobby Ferguson had to be included as a subcontractor for him to win any work.
Prosecutor Michael Bullotta also highlighted testimony from former Kilpatrick pal Derrick Miller and fundraiser and family friend Emma Bell, who both laid out a system of kickbacks and bribes they said they had to follow when Kilpatrick was in office. Testimony detailed cash delivered in a vacuum cleaner bag, taken from shoes, stored in Bell’s bra and delivered in the bathroom of a local Chinese restaurant, among other oddballs.
Defense attorney Jim Thomas said during his closing arguments that Miller and Bell were liars trying to save themselves from tax charges by testifying against Kilpatrick. He claimed Kado had dementia.
Bernard Kilpatrick was part of the mix, some testified, saying they had to pay him, too, to keep working in Detroit. The FBI secretly taped contractor James Rosendall meeting with Bernard Kilpatrick and getting berated by the former mayor’s father for delivering cash in a public parking lot.
His defense claimed he was doing legitimate work and expecting legitimate pay.
Prosecutors said Ferguson made more than $80 million while Kilpatrick was in office with schemes hatched between himself and the mayor, showing stacks and stacks of cash he had hidden in his home and office.
Ferguson’s defense Gerald Evelyn seemed on the verge of tears in open court as he invoked Martin Luther King Jr., describing Ferguson as a hard-working minority businessman who employed Detroiters.