Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Money Skeletons Tumble Out of Closet
Prosecutors have not wasted any time showing that Kilpatrick had a seemingly endless supply of cash but no identifiable and legitimate source for the cash.
On Monday, U.S. Attorney’s Office called six witnesses who came to the stand to be questioned. According to the prosecutors, they will prove that Kilpatrick; his father, Bernard Kilpatrick; contractor Bobby Ferguson, and ex-city water department director Victor Mercado all used the mayor’s office to grow their personal bank accounts.
All four defendants deny the allegations that they misused the mayors office for the purpose of enriching themselves.
The former mayor’s bodyguards gave testimony which highlighted Kilpatrick’s luxurious lifestyle. The bodyguards shared how the former mayor used police officers to run errands such as picking up dry cleaning, going to the bank for him and even going to get some money that he had stashed away.
Ex-bodyguard, Chad Smith, testified that he was sent to get money hidden in a shoe at the Kilpatrick home. According to Smith, he was given specific instruction as to where to find the money and then go and pay a MasterCard bill with it. The former bodyguards also affirmed accusations that Kilpatrick got perks from the rich in exchange for political favors.
Dwayne Love, a former member of Kilpatrick’s security detail, testified that Kilpatrick enjoyed the use of a private jet, $10,000 worth of court-side Pistons tickets, New York City shopping sprees and a $6,000 watch for his dad, all from Grosse Pointe businessman Anthony Soave. According to Love, Kilpatrick’s ex-mistress and former aide, Christine Beatty, also enjoyed the use of the private jet and the shopping sprees.
Soave has denied exchanging favors with the former mayor and claims he was extorted by him.
An Internal Revenue Service agent, Ron Sauer, testified that while the former mayor was in office, he made more than $531,000 in cash expenditures but none of it could be traced to his $176,000 annual mayoral salary.
The trial is still ongoing so it remains to be seen how many more money skeletons will come tumbling out of the former mayor’s closet or other hiding spots.