Kilpatrick federal trial witness on contracts at Cobo: 'I am like hostage'
Updated On: Dec 03 2012 01:27:06 PM EST
Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick's dad Bernard Kilpatrick and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. Each day we bring you information from inside federal court as it happens.
9:12AM Bit of a late start. We should start with Agent Carol Paszkevich- Criminal Investigations Unit of the EPA - instead we have a few corrections for the record from Mark Chutkow.
No cross of Agent Paszkevich.
Prosecutor Michael Bullotta calls Karl Kado to the stand, he is from Iraq. Came to the U.S. in 1973 to get his PhD in education, Saddam Hussein wasn't much into education so, Kado never returned to Iraq. Started with a store in the Milander Center and had concessions in Cobo Hall - formed a partnership with Ogden food services.
Bernard Kilpatrick came into Kados store at the Milander Center and they became friends. The City County Building has a sky-walk which connects Milander Center and City Hall.
Aurther Blackwell met Kado in Cobo Hall and suggested he support Kwame Kilpatick.
Soon after Kwame called Kado on the phone and asked for $10,000 in 2001. Derick Miller came to Cobo to collect the cash. Kado handed the cash over in a brown paper bag.
When asked why he gave the money to Kilpatrick, Kado explains The City of Detroit ran Cobo Hall. Lou Pavledes was the Director of Cobo who worked for Derick Miller who worked for the Mayor. As a sub-contractor he felt he needed to give the money to Kilpatrick to keep his business which brought in around $200,000 per month.
Kado had the concessions and a cleaning contract at Cobo.
Kado would call Dedan Milton to get access to Kilpatrick. Sometimes Kilpatrick would call Kado and say he needs money, $5,000 - $10,000 at a time. Kado would deliver the cash to Kilpatricks office in City Hall and at Kado's office in Cobo.
The director of Cobo Lou Pavledes could kick him out in two hours if he wanted to. He had seen it before; how fast people could get kick out. That was the fear that motivated him to make payment to Kilpatrick.
Kado got an electrical contract at Cobo for $10 to $11million and paid back 3% to the City. Union Contractor are used to set-up shows in Cobo. The Auto Show uses 700 electricians for set-up.
Kado paid $200,000 - $300,000 over two to three years to Bernard Kilpatrick because he was the mayors father. All Cash - $40 - $50 thousand at a time. Bernard would ask Kado for the money, Bullotta asked why pay? Again, he was at the mercy of the director of Cobo Hall - if they told him to hang himself, he would say "what time."
Kado paid $100,000 to Bernard Kilpatrcik in 2005 for Kwame's election but he told Bernard this is the last payment - he is tired of the situation and he is "out."
Kado also wrote checks for $10k to Next Vision because Emma Bell asked him to. When asked why he gave the money Kado said it is like "extortion."
Derick Miller asked Kado for $10,000 because he said he was going to Europe, "another extortion."
"I am like hostage, you know the hostages in Iran? I am like hostage in Cobo."
August 30, 2005 - Kado got a letter from Bullotta informing him of the Federal Investigation, Kado had a discussion with Bernard Kilpatrcik about the letter around after the meeting Bernard frisked Kado for wires. Bullotta had Kado demonstrate the "frisking" on him for the jury.
Bernard offered a 10 year extension of Cobo Contracts if Kado didn't talk with the government. He told him "no, he is out."
February 5, 2003 Pavledes sent a letter to Kado informing him he had the electrical contract with Cobo.
Kado agreed to wear a "wire" in meetings with Cobo Officials.
Good time for a 20 minute break.
10:51 AM The judge is set to make up time by going for 8 hours on Mondays and Fridays until the Christmas break 9am to 4:30 p.m.
10:49 - Back in session - 2008 Kado wore a recording devise in a meeting with Bernard Kilpatrick at Tom Oyster Bar and - at this time Kado had lost all his contracts with the City. Kado claims because he would not give anymore money to the Kilpatrick's.
Kado was owed money from the City, $1.6 million for his cleaning contract, plus $800,000 for the electrical contract. When Kado lost the contracts they had two hours to get out of Cobo - they lost equipment as well as the contracts.
Amru Meah, Director of the Building Safety for the City of Detroit told Kado he had to bring one of his buildings up-to-code. Kado would put in $200,000 and the city would take up the rest, $3.2 Million.
First wire tap recording - February 8, 2008 meeting with Bernard Kilpatrick at Toms Oyster Bar: Kado talking (music under) about not getting paid at Cobo for three years, Bernard said he knew;
Kado talks about the $100,000 he gave to Bernard for the mayor. Bernard says he: "is trying to make you whole but, I can't get all that." Kado wanted an extension of the food contract at Cobo. Kado says he doesn't want something for nothing. Bernard: wanted Archie Clark (former basketball player) part of the contracts. Kado says "I don't care whatever you want." Bernard says: Archie's name doesn't need to be on the contract.
Kado says: Henery Hesson has a food background and should be on the contract. Bernard says the mayor doesn't want that because he has said bad things about the mayor. Bernard talks about people that have said bad things about the mayor, Bernard says: Mildred Gaddis is an avowed enemy of the mayor.
Bernard says "he wants what is fair, 10." Bullotta stops the tape: Kado explains Bernard wants 10% of the money owed to Kado if he gets the contract for Kado.
Back to the tape: Bernard says: "you kept up for a while, what do you think is fair?" Kado replies: "what every you want, but I need to get my money first." Bernard says: "Archie gets 20% and I get $160,000 'cause he hasn't done sh*t." "I will be a consultant." Kado says: "I will give you part by part."
Kado tells Bernard Tom Tusky is blocking me (acting Director of Cobo at the time) Bernard says: "you don't tell no one, when I see the money coming and I get this consulting agreement." Kado say: "this is double payment." Bernard says: "I spent that money and some of mine."
The tape ends, and Bullotta asks what the meaning of that conversation was? Kado says it like if you go into a restaurant and eat, you don't need a consultant to pay the bill. Bernard wanted part of the money the city owed to him, and to get it he had to pay Bernard and Archie the former basketball player.
11:51AM Time for a short 5 minute break.
John Shea - Bernard Kilpatrick's attorney on Cross Examination:
Your plea agreement requires you to testify here today. You are guilty of wrong-doing. You were bribing Lou Pavledes (Cobo Director) correct? Kado: No, I was extorted to keep my business in Cobo.
Shea: You brought $20,000 to Pavledes because he came to you and said we are partners. Kado: Yes. Shea: You also made payment to Pavledes successor Glen Blanton? Kado: Yes, Blanton only $10,000 and Pavledes over $140,000.
Shea contends these payment were for favor in his Cobo Contracts from before Kilpatrick, started in the Archer Administration and continued into the Kilpatrick Administration. Kado was facing very serous charges and had to cooperate with the government. You didn't want to go to prison, did you?
Kado: I wanted to cooperate with the government because I wanted to cooperate with the government.
Shea: you met with the government some 12 to 15 times. You were charged with only one tax count, correct? Kado: Yes. Shea: the government said they would give you leniency. If you don't cooperate they can file additional charges.
The judge calls it for today, she reminds the jury not to talk about the case or watch or read anything related to this case. Back tomorrow @ 9am.