Witness in Kilpatrick trial admits he lied to his bosses - KMSP-TV

Witness in Kilpatrick trial admits he lied to his bosses

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

In the Kilpatrick corruption trial, the latest witness for the prosecution started out strong, but Thursday defense attorneys caught him in a lie.

Bernard Parker III was looking like yet another in a recent string of compelling government witnesses until he ran into one teensy problem -- his own words.

"He admitted he lied under oath, so that's that," said Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj.

If Parker's pants caught fire on the witness stand, there was plenty of rain falling to put it out as he hustled from the courthouse.

At issue was an email Parker wrote to his bosses that said a top Kilpatrick appointee wanted a contribution, but Parker acknowledged that the request really came from Bobby Ferguson, who witnesses have said often acted like a high ranking official even though he didn't work for the city.

Parker's admission promoted a heated exchange with Ferguson attorney Gerald Evelyn.

EVELYN: Either you're lying to your bosses or you're lying to this jury.

PARKER: I lied to my bosses.

EVELYN: Why?

PARKER: Because I feared Bobby and we were trying to raise money.

EVELYN: So you're the type of person who will lie -- when there's an advantage for you?

Rataj said Parker's lie undermined his credibility.

"He did not stand up under cross examination and that's the bottom line."

Parker testified Wednesday that Ferguson used his influence with Kwame Kilpatrick to strong arm contractors.  He said Ferguson acted illegally in forcing forms like Walbridge Aldinger to cut him in on their multi-million dollar city deals.

Evelyn hammered Parker for taking a job with Ferguson even though he believed Ferguson was breaking the law.

EVELYN: That didn't deter you from going to work for him in 2007.

PARKER: I made a bad judgment.

Still, Parker insisted that Ferguson essentially extorted contractors.  While defense attorneys got worked up, Parker's grace under pressure led to one of the day's funnier exchanges.

EVELYN: You're smiling.

PARKER: I'm just a happy man.

EVELYN: You're not supposed to be smiling.

Rataj said nothing, well almost nothing, will stop defense attorneys from going after government witnesses like Parker.

"I'm a zealous advocate for my client in that I'm going to stick up for him and I'm going to continue to do that and no one's going to stop me.  So that's that."

What about the Mayans?

"We all go down together.  That's all I can say."

Assuming the Mayans are wrong and the world doesn't end, we'll be back in court on Friday and then off for two weeks.  That's a welcome respite for a trial that should've been wrapping up any day now, but promises to drag on to at least February.

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