Accountant called as Kilpatrick witness agrees with prosecutor - KMSP-TV

Accountant called as Kilpatrick witness agrees with prosecutor

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) -

After five months of testimony and about 80 witnesses for the prosecution, the defense took the lead Thursday in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial.

Under the law, the defense has no obligation to put on witnesses or even respond to the government's accusations.  Based on what I saw today, they may have been a lot better off sending this case straight to the jury.

The Grind is a club for so-called gentleman.  At one time it was slated to be replaced by a skin bar known as Club Rain.  But first, they had to get by mayoral pal Bobby Ferguson.

Before resting their case, prosecutors went over one last text message that they say showed Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson in cahoots, running a racket out of city hall.

FERGUSON: Club Rain, the white boy thinks he is slick.  I don't have any real money.  FEI did $20,000 job and he won't pay.  Is it all right if building safety [expletive] with his permit?

KILPATRICK: Will call later.

But FBI Agent Bob Beeckman acknowledged to Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas that he saw no evidence Kilpatrick took any action.  He also agreed with prosecutor Mark Chutkow that there was no evidence Kilpatrick told Ferguson to take a hike.

THOMAS: The mayor is not encouraging him in any way is he?

BEECKMAN: Not in that text message.  No.

CHUTKOW: Did you see if Mayor Kilpatrick said that's an inappropriate request to make of me?

BEECKMAN: No.

By noon, defense attorneys started calling their own witnesses for the first time since the trial began in September.

For their second witness, the defense called an accountant, but by the time he was done testifying, you would've thought he was working for the prosecution.

Gary Leeman is a forensic accountant and a witness for Kilpatrick.  Nevertheless, he agreed with prosecutor Michael Bullotta that the money the non-profit Kilpatrick Civic Fund spent on yoga lessons was inappropriate.

LEEMAN: I would doubt that would be a deductible expense.

BULLOTA: Wouldn't be close?

LEEMAN: Not even close.

Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton said that kind of testimony doesn't bode well for Kilpatrick and company.

"Jurors remember that.  Why?  Because the defense doesn't have to do anything, and if the defense does something it better be good.  And if it's not, not good."

Still Ferguson attorney Gerald Evelyn said the defense will do its job.

"We've always had the ball in some ways, but this is just part of the process.  We'll see how it all turns out."

Because of a scheduling conflict, Leeman will not be back on the stand until Tuesday.  But based on what I saw today, defense attorneys wouldn't mind seeing him leave town for good.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Migrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington Hills

    Migrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington Hills

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:10 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:10:56 GMT
    Illegal immigrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington HillsTwenty-four illegal immigrant teens from Central America will soon be housed at Wellspring Lutheran Services in Farmington Hills, which has secured a federal contract. The immigration issue is a major one, and what seemed far, far away is now coming closer and closer to home."We've been watching this for six, eight weeks now, now it's Michigan," said William Largent, president and CEO of Meskwaki. the business arm of...
    Illegal immigrant teens from Central America to be housed in Farmington HillsTwenty-four illegal immigrant teens from Central America will soon be housed at Wellspring Lutheran Services in Farmington Hills, which has secured a federal contract. The immigration issue is a major one, and what seemed far, far away is now coming closer and closer to home."We've been watching this for six, eight weeks now, now it's Michigan," said William Largent, president and CEO of Meskwaki. the business arm of...
  • VIDEO: Witness says man roughed up by Clinton Township police, hospital security

    VIDEO: Witness says man roughed up by Clinton Township police, hospital security

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-08-01 03:25:38 GMT
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
    In a video spreading across social media, a Michigan man says police and hospital security roughed up a man.
  • Large two truck crash closes I-75, second accident nearby

    Large two truck crash closes I-75, second accident nearby

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-08-01 02:57:29 GMT
    A crash involving two semi trucks shut down I-75 tonight, according to Michigan State Police.
    A crash involving two semi trucks shut down I-75 tonight, according to Michigan State Police.
  • 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