Kilpatrick trial: Day 2 of witness testimony ends

Published On: Sep 25 2012 09:51:08 AM EDT
Updated On: Sep 25 2012 04:02:34 PM EDT
DETROIT -

End of day 2 of witness testimony: Officer Michael Fountain was the second and last witness called to testify today in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial. Fountain testified that after citing Bobby Ferguson with environmental violations, he witnessed trash and debris being removed from Ferguson's business property and dumped onto city land in 2001. He also testified that he was intimidated by Ferguson into canceling his violation tickets after Ferguson, accompanied by 2 EPU officers, threatened Fountain's family. Earlier in the day, Kwame Kilpatrick college buddy Mahlon Clift testified about receiving $90,000 in cash from Ferguson which he then delivered to Kwame. Kilpatrick and Ferguson passed notes as they listened to the witnesses testify. Just before court adjourned,U.S. Attorney called Officer Fountain's wife Denise as the next witness. As court is in recess in observance of Yom Kippur tomorrow, Ms. Fountain will be first up to testify Thursday morning.

12:49PM Judge Edmunds adjourns court for the day. Court will not be in session tomorrow in observance of Yom Kippur. Reconvenes Thursday at 9AM.

12:44PM U.S. Attorney Mike Bullotta calls Denise Fountain. Sidebar called. Lawyers convene with judge.

12:44PM Evelyn redirects. Evelyn says wasn't your initial reaction to kick Ferguson's ass at first. Yes says Fountain. But no gudge now says Evelyn? No says Fountain. Evelyn hands documents to Fountain to read.

Fountain testimony continued. Fountain says he believes person on the backhoe was an employee. Bullotta asks if Fountain has a grudge against Bobby Ferguson. Fountain says no, just wanted property cleaned up.

12:39PM Bullotta redirects. Bullotta says from the beginning have you maintained that it was Ferguson who threatened you. Fountain says yes. Bullotta asks did you ever tell anyone that it was Mike Martin who threatened you and not Ferguson. Fountain says no. Bullotta asks when you pointed out the other officer in photos, did you say you were 100% sure. No says Fountain.

12:13PM Gerald Evelyn cross-examines. Evelyn says you've testified a lot in court. Fountain says yes. Evelyn says who do you feel you were threatened by. Ferguson says Fountain. And you told investigators in 2005 that you issued tickets. Told them that Ferguson threatened Fountain and that 2 EPU officers were with him. Fountain was Mike Martin's training officer which is how he knew him.

Evelyn asked if he said anything to Mike Martin. Fountain says they looked at each other like what's going on. Evelyn says you're on a congested 2nd floor hallway full of people. Fountain says yes it was full of people. Evelyn says in this congested hallway full of officers, Ferguson threatened you? Fountain says yes. Fountain says he picked out an officer he thought was with Ferguson, the one that wasn't Mike Martin. Evelyn says it turns out it wasn't him. Evelyn says that the trash was city property, not Bobby Ferguson. Fountain said no it was Bobby Ferguson's- 8631 and 8655 Military. These tickets were given on September 10th at 1pm. They had a proposed court date for October 10th on the tickets. Fountain went back and looked at it on 9/11 but issued tickets on 9/12. Fountain found time to drive by on 9/11. Evelyn asks weren't all officers in city of Detroit were on orange alert on 9/11 2001. Fountain says he can't remember. Evelyn asks do you know what time the Twin Towers were attacked. Fountain says sometime in the morning. Fountain testified that Ferguson is the one who threatened him. Evelyn says at grand jury Fountain testified that Officer Martin threatened him. Fountain says there was confusion about that testimony when questions were asked but Martin did not threaten him.

Evelyn asks if he recalls telling grand jury that Martin wanted to speak with him in the hallway. Fountain says he remembers being told to step in the hallway to discuss the tickets. Evelyn disagrees with Fountain saying that transcript shows that he is referring to Mike Martin as being the one who threatens him saying "he should cancel tickets for Mr. Ferguson." Fountain says it's not true that he told grand jury that Martin was threatening you. Fountain says again that Mike Martin did not threaten him and his family. Evelyn says your testimony today is that Mr. Ferguson threatened you. Fountain says I've said that all along. Fountain says that he thought his grand jury testimony was misunderstood and that the "he" Fountain was talking about was Bobby Ferguson. Evelyn asks if he gave any citations when he saw things being dumped on city property. Fountain says he didn't do anything. Evelyn says you don't stop truck or call for backup. Fountain says no. Evelyn says that's because it never happened. Yes it did says Fountain. Evelyn asks if city property in pictures was ever cleaned up. Fountain says no. Fountain says he never spoke the media. Fountain says he saw Ferguson maybe 2 or 3 times in relation to the tickets. Fountain says he talked to Officer Martin subsequently. Typically the fine for one of these tickets is $500. Evelyn says when you talked with Ferguson; you felt you were outgunned and outmanned. Yes says Fountain. In fact it was city property says Evelyn. No says Fountain it was Ferguson's property. Fountain was interviewed by agent Beckman on September 1st that had to do with whether it was Martin or Ferguson threatening him. Evelyn says you told agent Beckman that you talked to the press. Fountain says that he said "no comment" Evelyn gives Fountain a transcript of conversation with Beckman. Evelyn asks "Did you tell agent Beckman that you talked to the press and they accurately quoted you?" No says Fountain. Fountain testimony continued. Fountain says a lot of trash was moved from Ferguson's to city property. Fountain says he went by one day and he actually saw them moving debris to the city property. Fountain indicates a back hoe used to move things onto city property. Bullotta asks about when Ferguson said "Don't you know who I am?". Isn't that a way to indicate you're a bigwig. Fountain says yes. Bullotta ends.

11:33AM Government calls Officer Michael Fountain. Mike Bullotta for government. Michael Fountain is Detroit Police officer for 27 years. With the communications department as dispatcher. Worked in 10th and 12th precinct and now with communications operations. In 2001, Officer Fountain was environmental officer with 10th precinct. Worked with Officer Wendy Flanagan. Would act on citizen complaints to investigate trash issues. Concerned with people not cutting grass, not getting rid of certain things on property. During this time came to know Bobby Ferguson and a location at Military St. Ferguson Enterprises. Officer went buy took pictures of the property. Issued a report to Mr. Ferguson in 2001. Bullotta hands Fountain tickets. Fountain says they were standard "V" tickets for environmental ordinances. Bullotta introduces them as evidence. The 4 tickets are for Bobby Ferguson's company property. The first citation is for allowing litter. The second ticket for September 2001 is for allowing rat harborage, rats will set up shop and breed there. The third ticket also on September 10th 2001 for hazardous conditions- bricks, miscellaneous items. The fourth ticket was for failing to cut weeds in excess of 8 inches or more.

Returned to location on September 11th, 2001 and issued additional tickets. Again for rat harborage- 2 inoperable vehicles allowing for rat harborage. 3 inoperable vehicles that appear in state of disrepair. Ticket for a white box truck that appeared inoperable. Next ticket for red dump truck, no headlights and no plate. Came back at a later time and issued ticket for failing to cut weeds that exceeded 8 inches and another for the inoperable white vehicle. Bullotta asks if he went back to check on progress of the property, Fountain says yes. Bullotta asked if he checked on property ownership. There was property owned by Ferguson and then a parcel owned by the city of Detroit. Ferguson issued ticked for 300 cubic feet of trash. Fountain says each time he went back, some of the trash was being moved from Mr. Ferguson's property to the city property. Vehicles were also being moved to the city property.

Fountain says case went to trial. There is a courtroom dedicated to environmental tickets. Ferguson went to court in fall of 2001 on the tickets. Police officers will usually talk to people issued tickets to in an attempt to get it cleaned up. the goal of the unit was to get it cleaned up. Foungtain points to Ferguson who stands up to identify him. Fountain says they spoke in 2001 and that Ferguson was very upset he was issued the tickets. fountain said he knew nothing about knowing who he was. Ferguson said "I'm Bobby Ferguson, do you know who I am?" Fountain said no. Fountain explained that he just wanted to have it cleaned up. Ferguson said it wasn't his property. Ferguson was not amenable to clean it up. Fountain says the conversation got a little loud. Ferguson was "dressed up pretty good" and he had one of Mr. Kilpatrick's campaign buttons on. Some of the other officers came in the room because we were shouting. He left. Ferguson went back to court on this on February 8th, 2002. The media was there for the trial. Fountain was in uniform and Ferguson was not there. Fountain was summoned to the hallway were Ferguson was with 2 police officers. He knew one, Mike Martin, but noth the other. He was an EPU officer. Fountain knew him from 10th precinct. The officers were standing to the right and left of him. Fountain was puzzled by what was going on. Seeing an EPU officer you would think the mayor was there. But he wasn't.

Both officers were not in uniform. Ferguson says "It would behoove you to cancel the tickets." Fountain is pausing wondering why they want him to cancel the tickets.

Ferguson mentions Fountain's family and says "it would be in your best interest to cancel the tickets." Fountain had a young family in Detroit.

Fountain says he felt threatened. Thought about his family and wondered if it was worth it to continue. It did play on his mind that this business owner was in the protection of 2 officers. Officer Fountain canceled the tickets. Told the judge he had made a mistake. didn't think he made a mistake but feared for his family. Fountain didn't tell the judge or anyone else. "It was bigger than me" and it wasn't really worth it to risk family being hurt. The Detroit Free Press was there- Elrick and Shaefer- and asked if I wanted to comment. I said no. Officer Flanagan was not in the hallway when the conversation happened. She wanted to know why the tickets were canceled. Fountain told her he had to. Fountain says as the precinct moved locations, some of his files went missing. "For whatever reason, I kept the file" referring to the Ferguson file. Bullotta asks about Fountain's wife of 22 years, Denise. He didn't tell her about it at first because he doesn't like to take work home. But she read stuff in the media and Fountain finally told her that he didn't want the family to get hurt. Fountain also didn't tell his bosses. "It was bigger than just me getting the property cleaned up." Fountain got a call in October 2005. Met with an FBI agent who asked him about the tickets. Fountain was subpoenaed to testify to grand jury in 2009.

Bullotta introduces pictures of Ferguson's property taken by Fountain as evidence. Fountain flicks through the pictures. Fountain uses pointer to show trash and debris on Ferguson's property at the time. Lots of trash, bricks and old debris. Shows more trash and abandoned cars. Indicates the old white box truck. When I went to show if it had been cleaned up, the truck was moved to another spot on the field. Fountain says you can tell from tire marks it had been dragged there, onto city property. Private contractors are sometimes hired to clean up city debris.

11:31AM Bullotta redirects for government Clift steps down.

11:30AM Rataj redirects. Rataj says you were interviewed by Bullotta and Sauer before grand jury and you never told about the money. and then there was a break and after that you told them about the $90,000. Correct says Clift. Rataj says you have no proof you were in Detroit in July, august and September 2008. Correct says Clift.

11:27AM Thomas redirects. Thomas asks again if Clift's mother knew about money. No says Clift, still doesn't know. Thomas says you can't remember details- how many $50 bills there were. Correct says Clift. In Detroit, you couldn't describe building, floor, roof. Correct says Clift. You didn't know when it was says Thomas. Correct says Clift.

11:17AM Bullotta redirects for government. Bullotta asks did we ever tell you we were aware of the money. Clift says no and the he just wanted to tell the truth. Clift says government didn't tell you how to testify but to tell the truth. Clift says he didn't hire a lawyer but has his mother assisting him. Clift says "She is typical mother, concerned about her child." The government never told him he could be charged with a crime.

Bullotta asks if Clift ever had to fill out declaration form when flying. Clift says no.

Clift says he didn't see Kwame bank accounts in 2004.

Bullotta asks Clift to describe jeans he was wearing to carry $90,000. "They were loose" says Clift. "It was before the skinny age."

Clift says he didn't ask for a cut of the money because Kwame was a friend and he didn't think it was necessary.

Bullotta reads over grand jury testimony about conversation with Ferguson about carrying the package for "Black". Clift says it's accurate.

Bullotta reads testimony about Clift hiding money in vacuum cleaner. Clift says yes it's accurate.

In grand jury testimony, U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked him if it was complicated using him to hold money. In grand jury testimony, Clift figured they didn't want people to know but he didn't dig.

Clift says he never asked questions about what their intentions were.

Bullotta asks about phone call before Clift went to Dallas. Clift says it was so long ago, he does not remember the exact conversation.

Bullotta asks as you sit here today, do you have any doubt in your mind that you delivered $90,000 cash from Bobby Ferguson to Kwame? No says Clift

11:07AM Thomas said you indicated on grand jury that you believed that carrying large sums of money on a plane is illegal. Clift says I don't know if it's illegal or not. Thomas addresses Clift to his grand jury testimony. Thomas asks Clift if he called anyone after receiving subpoena. Not Kwame, not Bobby, not his mother. No says Clift. Clift was in a meeting with Mike Bullotta, IRS agent Ron Sauer for 36 minutes on September 29th, 2010. Thomas asks if government told him what to say. Clift says they asked questions about Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson.

Thomas asks if he told them about the money before the meeting broke. Clift says no. Thomas says is it because you were concerned about the legality and wanted immunity.

There was a phone call to my mother and she talked to Michael Bullotta. Clift says she didn't know anything about the money and I didn't tell her anything. Thomas sais were you worried about money when you worked for jeweler. No says Clift. Thomas says I have listened to your testimony and you are inconsistent about times.

Thomas says I need to know if you are testifying because of your fear that you were carrying money. Clift says no. Thomas rattles off list of names- Rashad Herrel and Sasha Daly amongst them- and asks if Clift knows them and sold jewelery to them. Clift says he knows one but never sold him anything.

10:47AM Jim Thomas, lawyer for Kwame Kilpatrick, cross-examines. Thomas says your relationship with Kwame goes way back. Thomas asks if he ever saw Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick exchange money. Clift says no. Says he is annoyed by the way Kwame carries money in balled up bills. Clift represented athletes and celebrities. Thomas says possibly drug dealers? Clift says I don't know. Thomas asks what about from the way they are dressed. Clift says he can't know if someone is a drug dealer by the way they are dressed. Clift said he wanted business and he would be happy to take money. Thomas asks if he knows that bills have special fibers. Clift says he knows about fibers to know that money is authentic. Thomas says did you know that those fibers would light up a metal detector. No says Clift. Thomas says your were never paid. No sir says Clift. The time of the money drop off in Detroit was right before he went to jail. Ok says Clift, I believe so. "I know it was before he went to jail."

Clift says when he came to the apartment and Kwame was all by himself. Clift says there must have been conversation about his arriving or he wouldn't have known where to go. Thomas asks about details of the building. Clft says he can only remember its more than 15 stories.

Thomas says that a Rolex watch was gifted to Kwame, worth about $22,000, bought by his employees. Clift says yes. Clift says he remembers selling Kwame a bracelet for himself. Clift doesn't remember a purchase for his wife. Kwame paid for it in installments over a long period of time. So long a period of time that the jeweler was concerned it would get fully paid.

Clift looks over text messages from 2004.

As late as December 2004, Kwame still had not paid for at least $6,000 on the bracelet. Kwame said he could pay half now and half later.

Thomas says money wasn't easy for Kwame in 2004. Hard to pay for $12,000-$15,000 bracelet.

Kwame indicated that he was having hard time financial problems to you and that he wanted to sell items. Yes says Clift.

In grand jury, Thomas says Clift referred to U.S. Attorney as Mike Bullotta and that today you referred to FBI special agent Bob Beckman. Thomas asks are you on first name basis with them?

Clift says no.

Thomas asks if Clift had been part of any investigation prior to talking to investigators. No says Clift.

"What about a search of you grandfather's house?" asks Thomas.

Bullotta interjects and sidebar is called.

10:45AM Judge Edmunds calls court back into session. Jurors filter back in. Kwame stands with hands clasped.

10:40 AM - Recap: Mahlon Clift, a jeweler to celebrities and long-time friend of former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, testified this morning to stuffing $90,000 his gym shorts and pant pockets as he traveled through airport metal detectors. Once back in Chicago, Clift testified that he stuck the money in a vacuum cleaner. Kwame Kilpatrick, in a dark suit and red bow tie, sat with head bowed and hands clasped in apparent prayer before proceedings began this morning. Also in court today, Bobby Ferguson's wife in a show of support. Under government questioning, Clift revealed that he received $90,000 from Bobby Ferguson in a Detroit hotel room which he then proceeded to deliver to the former mayor in 2 drops- the first for $50,000 in Dallas and the second for the remaining $40,000 in Detroit. Mike Rataj, a defense lawyer for Bobby Ferguson, indicated that Clift traveling through the airport "with a huge bulge in his pants" strained incredulity. He also got the witness to admit that Ferguson and Kilpatrick never explicitly told him what to do with the money.

None of the jurors took notes today and one female juror actually fell asleep during Rataj's cross-examination.

Clift's testimony will continue after recess.

10:24AM Rataj cross examination ends.

Judge calls recess for 20 minutes.

10:03AM Rataj says you testified to the grand jury that you put the money in a vacuum cleaner "or something like that". "So you don't know for sure you put the money there, " says Rataj. I think so says Clift. Back in Texas, Clift admits that he didn't give the money to Kwame right away. Left it in the hotel room. "Weren't you worried about a maid or someone getting it?" asks Rataj. "No, I had it tucked away," says Clift. Rataj asks if Clift asked for a cut of the $50,000. No sir says Clift. After giving Kwame the money, there was no conversation about giving him the rest of the $40,000. Neither Kwame nor Bobby ever told Clift not to talk about the money. At the grand jury, Clift asked about the exchange of the $50,000 in the hotel room. The government asked what Kwame physically did when he gave him the money. Clift didn't remember how Kwame received the money. Clift back in Detroit in October 2008 which is when Kwame received the remainder of the money.

Rataj says wasn't it the government who suggested the location of the apartment to you in grand jury. Clift didn't know the name of it. Rataj says you weren't asked a lot of details about the drop. Clift says I don't know, don't remember. Clift got a call several weeks after grand jury in November 2010 from IRS special agent Sauer about Clift's stay at the Athenaeum hotel in June 2008. Rataj shows him hotel receipt. Clift says I stayed for 2 days. Rataj introduces stack of Athenaeum hotel receipts as evidence. Rataj says IRS Sauer asked Clift about time frame of money delivery. Clift said he wasn't sure. Then Rataj says Special Agent Sauer asked you about the trip to Dallas. Clift indicated to agent Sauer that was "probably" when he gave him the $50,000. Then Sauer asked about the Detroit stay where he gave the $40,000. Clift indicated to Sauer "that could have been" when he gave the money to Kwame. Rataj says "You used words like probably, could have and not sure." Yes says Clift. Clift told agents June 2008 was too early to give money to Kwame. But said that October "could have been" when he delivered money.

Rataj says there were no receipts for stays in Detroit between June and October. There is no evidence he was in Detroit between those two dates. Rataj asks about U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow's grand jury questioning when Chutkow said "That all seems so complicated." Clift responded obviously they must not want anyone to know about it if they are using me.

Rataj says if they didn't want anyone to know, wouldn't it have been easier to cut out the middle man. "Yes" responds Clift, "that makes sense."

Rataj says that a grand juror said to the witness "Mr. Clift that all seems so weird to me."

Rataj says "Bottom line is that you have no evidence that you were here August or September 2008. No hotel or flight receipts, nothing."

No says Clift.

9:32AM Mike Rataj, lawyer for Bobby Ferguson, cross-examines. Friendship with Kwame dates back to 1989 as freshman at Florida A & M. Didn't graduate from college but went back to Chicago. at college, used to cut football players hair. Went back to Chicago and became a barber. then worked in jewelry. Met entertainers, R. Kelly, Common, who all bought jewelry from him. Doesn't know about any drug dealers. Made frequent trips to Detroit. Drove most of the time, booked his own flights and hotels. Most of the time stayed at the Athenaeum hotel unless he stayed with "a lady friend". Never used an alias when he booked hotel rooms. Sometimes his room was comped but sometimes he paid.

Primarily went to Detroit to stay with Kwame. Visits were mostly social- for sporting event, party or just to "say hey." Sometimes went months without talking to Kwame and Bobby. Met Bobby at a pre-season game for the Pistons where a client was trying out. It was before he became mayor. Clift was in Chicago when he was subpoenaed. He got a phone call first first asking how he wanted to be served. Thinks he talked to the FBI. Told there was a subpoena for a grand jury, didn't want to scare him with federal agents at the door. So it was faxed. In the conversation, it was indicated it was about Kwame. Got the subpoena sometime prior to September 29th, 2010.

Rataj moves into grand jury testimony. Before going into grand jury room, Clift has an immunity agreement to protect him. In grand jury, tells story about how Bobby gave him $90,000. Clift had come to see Kwame when he was "under siege". Clift booked his own room at the Athenaeum. He had flown on an unknown airline. Saw Kwame on this trip, Carlita and all 3 boys. Testified to grand jury that he also saw Bernard Kilpatrick and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick. Clift doesn't remember seeing them now thought. Rataj gets him to say that he can't remember dates of his stay during this "support stay" where he got the $90,000 from Bobby Ferguson. Clift doesn't specifically remember how many times or where he saw Kwame.

Rataj gets Clift to say he's not sure exactly what day Bobby Ferguson came over. 90% sure it was the day after the phone call.

Fergsuon told him "I have something for Black."

Rataj says that in grand jury testimony Clift didn't remember what name Bobby referred to Kwame as. According to grand jury testimony, Clift says that Ferguson comes with a shopping bag full of $90,000. Bobby Ferguson never gave him instructions on what to do with the money. Only instructions were to hold the money. and then Bobby Ferguson left the room. The money was in 9 stacks of $10,000 in $100 and $50 bills. Clift says most stacks were $100. "The juices were flowing," says Clift referring to his nervousness about carrying the money. Doesn't remember how many stacks he stuffed in his gym short and jean pockets. Rataj comically sticks his pants out to demonstrate how much Clift's pants would bulge. Rataj says "Your testimony is you got through airport security with no problem with your pockets bulging out?" Clift says "I felt the bulge" but didn't think it was visible. Rataj says "Ferguson never gave you further instructions on what to do with the money."

Rataj says "Isn't it the first time either Kwame or Ferguson ask you to hold money?" Yes responds Clift.

Then goes to Dallas with money. Rataj says "Mr. Kilpatrick never says hey bring me 50 large?"

Clift says Kwame never said anything about bringing money and that it was his idea to bring $50,000 to Dallas.

Got to Texas on September 20th 2008 and thinks he left on the 23rd.

Clift says he thinks he saw Kwame on each day of the trip. He saw he on the 20th at the hotel. They went house hunting after going to church.

Rataj says at least one or two days elapsed before giving Kwame the money. Yes responds Clift.

Where you nervous asks Rataj. Clift says he doesn't know how to qualify it but yes it's a big deal to hold on to that much money. 

9:07AM Michael Bullotta for government questions Mahlon Clift. Knew Kwame Kilpatrick from college at Florida A & M in 1988-1989. Met as freshmen and introduced her to Kwame Kilpatrick. Kwame was a groomsman at his wedding.Has met Bobby Ferguson through Kwame at a Pistons game way before he became mayor. Friends with Bobby over the years too. Clift's wife and Carlita were friends too. Kwame is one of his best friends. They took a trip to Houston and Bermuda as well. A client of Clift's client R. Kelly had a concert in Houston. Bobby, Derrick Miller, Mike Martin, Kwame and Clift went on the trip to Houston. They flew on a private jet but doesn't know whose. Sgt Love, Kwame, Andre Cunningham aka "Scabini," Derrick Miller, Bobby, Jeff Beasly,  himself amongst others on the trip.

He paid about $2,000 for the Bermuda trip.

In 2008, Clift came to Detroit because Kwame was having personal issues to be a support system like he was through his divorce. "I consider him like I brother who I love," says Clift.

Went back to Chicago after receiving a call from Bobby Ferguson asking when he planned on leaving. Clift said tomorrow or the next day. The next day got a call from Bobby saying I'll see you shortly. Bobby came to hotel room in the Athenaeum. He gave him like a gift bag. It was like a bag you would see a gift in, with tissue, inside was a plastic bag that had money in it.

Bobby Ferguson said "hold on to this for Black." Clift assumed it was for Kwame. It wasn't a problem for him. There was $90,000 in the bag.

Took it out and they were in $1,000 dollar stacks of $100 or $50s. Clift put on some gym shorts and put money in his pockets, them he put jeans on top and put more money in the pockets. He wanted to conceal the money even though he didn't think it was illegal. Just didn't want to be noticed. He went through metal detector without issue and went home to Chicago.

Dropped of his bags at home. Took the money off and counted it- it was $90,000. He hid it in a vacuum cleaner. Hid the money behind the bag. There were 9 stacks.

Later, Clift flew to Dallas and took $50,000 to Kwame. Clift has family in Dallas and at the time Kwame and his family were there. He learned that was where Kwame was planning to move.

Clift carried the money in his cargo pants. He didn't take all the money because it was easier to take just $50,000.

As Clift recalls, he was the one who decided to take that much. In Dallas, he stayed at the Hilton in Southlake.

Bullotta shows Clift the check in receipt which he recognizes.

Introduces it into evidence as Clift 1.

The receipt is for September 20th, 2008 and departure date of September 21st, 2008. But Clift says it was more than 1 night, more like 3. Kwame didn't pay for trip, Clift did. Clift said he wanted to see Kwame and his family as well as his own.

After that trip, he did go to Detroit. He did go to Detroit in October 2008 and took the remainder $40,000. Took it again in his pants. No problems with the airport. Kwame was no longer at the mansion but at an apartment. Just Kwame and Clift were there. They spoke and Clift handed him money. Stayed at the Antheneum.

Introduces Clift 2 in evidence.

The document has the hotel date of October 22nd 2008 through October 24th 2008. They were alone when he gave him the money. Kwame and Clift were communicating a lot at the time. "He was a friend in need."

From that time until September 2010, they were still friends. Subpoenaed to testify at grand jury in September 2010. Felt the same way as now, "uncomfortable."

Clift was asked several questions about surveillance conversations and texts. Clift says he decided to tell the truth.

Clift did get an immunity agreement. Talked to the government and his mother a lawyer for Blue Cross Blue shield in Chicago. His mother requested it.

9:06AM The jury enters the courtroom. Judge tells the jury about the earlier voir dire.

9:02AM Jim Thomas, lawyer for Kwame Kilpatrick, questions the witness- anonymous at this point. Witness in court because he was subpoenaed. He was previously employed by a jeweler who had him find high end clients. Job involved cash transactions. Witness has no reason to believe he will face any charges for undertaking cash transactions. The witness did sign an immunity agreement. The witness was told by government he wasn't the target so he signed the agreement.

9:01AM Judge Edmunds says they will have quick voir dire of following witness before the jury comes in.

8:54AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom. Judge Edmunds says there is a legal matter to discuss at sidebar before the jurors enter the courtroom. Defense and government lawyers convene with the judge at her bench. Kwame Kilpatrick and his co-defendants Bobby Ferguson, Bernard Kilpatrick and former water boss Victor Mercado sit quietly as they wait.

About the author:

Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus