Kilpatrick trial: Tailor's testimony a stitch different - KMSP-TV

Kilpatrick trial: Tailor's testimony a stitch different from contractor's

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The Kilpatrick public corruption trial Monday was a little like buying a suit and getting two pairs of pants that didn't quite match.  In this case Kwame Kilpatrick was the suit while the pants were his tailor and a contractor, who told differing stories on the origin of a gratuity for the mayor.

Johnson Akinwusi got some unwanted attention Monday morning, but attention from Kwame Kilpatrick is just what Akinwusi was after ten years ago when he paid off five grand worth of suits for hizzoner.

Not long after that, Akinwusi partnered with Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson.  Their proposal to build a new Heilmann Recreation Center didn't score well, but they still got the city deal.  It was worth a cool $7 million.

Tailor Larry Alebiosu gave a slightly different account of how Akinwusi and Kilpatrick came together.

While Akinwusi said Friday that Alebiosu suggested he write Kilpatrick a letter and pay off his layaway, Alebiosu told me he never suggested a letter.  He testified Monday that it was Akinwusi's idea to give the mayor a gift, so Alebiosu suggested making a payment on the mayor's layaway account.

Alebiosu, who owns Fashion International in Southfield, said he never gave the mayor free clothes, at least not intentionally.  He said the former mayor still owes him money.

Detroit city official testifies about blow up with Ferguson

A city official testified Monday that she felt intimidated by Ferguson, but her co-worker testified that she overreacted and he saw nothing wrong with a deal the feds are calling corrupt.

Recreation official LaJuan Wilks testified that one of the worst parts of the Heilmann Recreation Center project was dealing with Ferguson, who she said told her "the only reason you still have this job is because you're black".

After her blow up with the mayor's pal, Wilks said she called Tyrone Clifton, another city official working on the project.  Clifton testified that Wilks was upset, but he didn't see what the fuss was all about.

"I didn't think anything about the call that I got from Ms. Wilks," he said outside of court.  "I don't believe a civil servant could get fired because of Bobby Ferguson. I don't."

Wilks' testimony renews a debate that vexes defense attorneys.  They say witnesses continually say they felt threatened, even though they were never explicitly threatened.

Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas said their feelings and fears ultimately don't matter.

"If you're willing to infer, first of all, that it happened, and then infer that as a result of that happening somebody was justified in something that they felt that somebody else said and what they said and what they meant.  This is America.  Where's the evidence?"

Speaking of perception, Clifton said he didn't see any problem with the Heilmann deal.

"Do you feel that the portion of city government that you were involved in... was on the level?" I asked him.

"Yes," he answered.

Why?  "We did our due diligence and made our recommendation," he said.

Clifton will be back on the witness stand on Tuesday morning.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Evan Reed arraigned on sexual assault charges

    Evan Reed arraigned on sexual assault charges

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:21 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:21:35 GMT
    Minor league pitcher Evan Reed has been arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a woman at a downtown Detroit hotel.
    Minor league pitcher Evan Reed has been arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a woman at a downtown Detroit hotel.
  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • 24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:26:09 GMT
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:20 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:20:27 GMT
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Thursday, October 10 2013 9:33 PM EDT2013-10-11 01:33:28 GMT
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
  • No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    Thursday, May 29 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-05-30 03:32:53 GMT
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices