Testimony resumes Tuesday in Kilpatrick federal corruption case
Updated On: Oct 09 2012 06:59:24 PM EDT
9AM Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson enter an already full courtroom together moments before session is due to start.
9:02AM Judge enters the courtroom. Sidebar is called.
9:03AM Jurors are seated.
9:04AM Government calls Charles Robert Berg to the stand.
Michale Bullotta questions for the government. Currently owns a PR firm in Detroit. Owned it over 14 years. Berg Muirhead and Associates- do pr, community relations for a variety of organizations. also work with political candidates. Prior to this, worked as press secretary for Coleman Young for 11 years and former governor Miliken. Worked in media for UPI.
In April 2001, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick called and asked for his help in Kwame's mayoral run. PR, political strategy and media relations for the campaign. His fee was $15,000 a month. worked May through October.
9:08AM KCF 5- invoices from Berg's firm to Kilpatrick for Mayor campaign.
KCF 6- 2 checks. Made out to Berg Muirhead and Associates. Went to pay for invoices shown.
Checks cut from Kilpatrick Civic Fund, dated July 24 2001. Amount is $5,000. signed by Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick. Beatty was very active in the campaign says the witness.
2nd check for $5,000 also from Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Dated August 21st 2001. Witness not quite sure what the Civic Fund was or involved in.
Berg helped with media relations, speechwriting, worked with advertising agencies and overall strategy. Overall goal to have Kwame elected.
Familiar with Lake Snell and Perry- got involved with campaign when Berg called Celinda Lake of the firm and asked them to get involved. Lake is highly respected nationally.
Pollsters hired to get feel for public opinion, to identify issues that public is interested in.
Berg worked with Daniel Gotoff. didn't meet him until last Friday. But spoke to him several times on the phone in 2001. They did several polls and initially identified fact that there was opening for Kwame to be mayor.
There were several polls done and some focus groups.
Other payments made to Berg Muirhead. Can't remember which entity paid them.
Berg did not do work for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
9:15AM Jim Thomas for Kwame cross-examines.
Thomas asks when he first started working for Kilpatricks? His mother's first campaign for congress in 1996. A successful campaign.
Berg first met Kwame during mother's campaign. Started mayoral election for him around April 2001.
Berg believes announced for running of mayor in May 2001.
Fees generated were approximately $90,000? Berg says think so but didn't start work in April.
Thomas asks if billings were in excess of $50,000. Berg says he thinks so.
Thomas looks at 2 checks submitted by government this morning.
Berg says generally checks were given to them in an envelope. To him or Muirhead but doesn't specifically remember receiving those checks.
Berg says main point of contact either Kwame or Beatty.
The decision to give 2 checks for $5,000 each from KCF, Thomas asks if Berg was involved in the decisions to cut those checks? No.
Berg says he didn't have contract with Civic Fund.
Thomas asks if government asked for other checks that came. No says Berg.
Thomas says wasn't Kwame's image for Civic Fund important? Yes says Berg.
Thomas says as PR wouldn't you be involved in promoting his image? Yes.
Do you remember any issues that arose late spring with John Rutherford. Yes, it was long time ago. Newspapers began asking about contributions that Rutherford made to Civic fund. Rutherford owned homeless shelter.
Thomas says media concerned about propriety for that? Yes.
That would have related to Kilpatrick, Civic Fund and image? Yes.
What would a PR person do when it relates to something negative? Berg says they ended up meeting with reporters in question.
Thomas says you had to get up to speed on what was being said and come up with an explanation why it was appropriate for money to go to Civic Fund? Yes says witness.
Berg doesn't remember dates this would have happened- Thomas had asked if it was late spring or early summer.
Thomas approaches witness with 2 documents. Asks Berg to look them over, which he does.
9:28AM Does that refresh your recollection about timeframe of Rutherford matter? This is dated August 29th says witness.
Thomas says would you agree with me that the issue was mixed, related to Civic Fund and campaign? Berg says yes.
Thomas says you told jury you worked on Civic Fund and timeframe.
Bullotta objects. Judge asks Thomas to restate question.
Did you do work on Civic Fund issue? In my mind, we were doing work on the campaign.
Didn't you meet with Beatty about Civic Fund? Met with her but I don't remember specifics.
Do you remember William Phillips and meeting with him about Rutherford matter? Remember him but don't remember those meetings.
Thomas says these checks clearly made out from Kilpatrick Civic Fund and deposited into your account and funded? Yes.
You didn't go back and say you gave me check from wrong checking account? No.
Berg says normally when you receive check like that you give to to accountant and don't care what account it is drawn from.
You devoted time and energy to that issue? Yes.
Do you know if Civic Fund had Board of Directors? Yes but don't remember who was on it.
Did you know Gregory Terrell? Yes.
Did you know if he was on the board? No.
What about William Phillips asks Thomas? Don't remember any specific conversations about this issue says Berg.
Thomas asks if Berg understands distinction between survey and tracking poll? Yes.
Thomas relates back to Kwame's image and how Civic Fund impacts that. Thomas references exhibit KCF A. Berg says he recognizes it, looks like the beginning of first survey done by Lake Snell. Berg was involved.
Thomas says Lake Snell involved as early as May 1st or 3rd of 2001. Yes says Berg.
Thomas asks if it appears to be candidate or issue specific. Issue specific says Berg.
Thomas points out page in survey with public officials which checks for favorability- at least 13, right? Yes says Berg.
What is purpose asks Thomas? To gage public opinion on the public officials.
You want to know what people think of other people to educate them about issues involved? Yes.
There were people not running for mayor listed? Yes say Berg.
Thomas asks if Berg knows purpose of Civic Fund? Not in any detail.
Already told us you don't know distinctions between 501 c3 and 501c4? Right.
Did you interact with Conrad Mallett? Yes he was campaign Chair.
How many people involved from your firm? 5 or 6.
Could a non-profit hire a pollster? Yes says Berg.
When you were advising on Rutherford wouldn't that have related to a non-profit? Yes.
And you were paid by non-profit? Yes.
9:44AM Bullotta redirects.
Did you know about Rutherford issue before press reported it? No says Berg.
First article that came out? August 29th 2001.
When is first checks dated? July 24th.
And second check also came about 8 days before article appeared? Yes.
So in your mind where you being paid these checks to somehow assist Civic fund? No our focus totally on the campaign.
In the surveys being done by Lake Snell questions? The questions are pretty standard for any candidate. Need to know that for voters you will be appealing to.
As part of Lake Snell work did they do focus groups? Yes.
Did they test out advertising? Don't remember but pretty normal thing to do.
If they did, why would they? To see if they are effective.
Would they be candidate specific? Yes.
9:47AM Thomas redirects.
Thomas says someone else other than you decided to pay out of Civic Fund? Yes.
Thomas hands out documents to witness and asks him if he recognizes check? No.
Do you recognize signature? No.
Who is John Rutherford? Owner of Homeless Shelter.
Do you remember issue coming up in close proximity when check was issued? No I don't remember how far before August 29th issue came up.
Could have been months? Doubt it because newspapers don't tend to wait months says Berg.
Well wasn't it extensive article that might have involved research? Yes.
It was an issue you were aware of in summer of 2001? Yes.
Berg says where check came from isn't something he spent a lot of time on.
Berg excused by judge.
9:52AM Government calls Tracy Walker. Judge swears her in. Witness takes her seat.
Currently an information officer at Wayne State University for the Medical School. Over the years, worked with Pistons in community relations from 1991-2000, had her own business and worked for Carolyn Cheeks Killpatrick from January 2006 to December 2010.
Bullotta asks if she met Kwame in 2001? Yes. children went to the same school, A Step Ahead.
Walker says she saw him there but met him at another meeting.
At some point did you learn Kwame wanted to run for mayor? I did because he told me.
In 2001 sometime? Yes.
What were you doing in 2001? Had my own firm, Contact sports. Mostly did PR for non profts and sports organizations.
At some point were you hired by candidate Kilpatrick? Yes. My partner had met someone who heard that he was interested in setting up a meeting. Sandra Ware was her partner. Walker was hired and there was a contract.
Walker was charged with helping raise his profile and create a favorable impression. To make a person more known and the issues known. Involved in getting him more media exposure.
Walker says her goal was to make sure he got elected.
What did you do to raise his profile? We wrote press releases and pitched stories to the media, Ebony, the Today Show, Savoy. Also Tom Joyner's syndicated radio show- the Sky show.
Were you able to get him in those magazines? Yes.
Before he was mayor? Yes.
Did you prepare media kit? yes.
What's in it? Head shot, a biography some career highlights.
Was that part of the work you did? Yes.
Want to show you KCF 7- do you recognize it? Yes an invoice from Contact sports to Kwame Kilpatrick.
Do you recognize 2 checks one for 7k and the second for a little more than 7k? Yes.
Looking at invoice on overhead. Dated March 4th 2002 from Contact Sports. It was Past Due.. Description lists work to the amount of $21,000. $14,000 had been received and balance due $7,975.95.
Was it paid off on November 05 2002 was for $7,975.95? Yes.
Who is the check written from? Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Did you get another check on August 28th 2001 for $7,000 also from Civic Fund? Yes.
Looks like it was deposited? Yes.
Did you ever do work for the Kilpatrick Civic fund that you know of? I don't know.
But your goal was to raise his profile to get him elected? Yes.
One of the checks indicates "Hold for discussion for mayor"
10:07AM Jim Thomas cross examines.
What does Contact sports do? Well we "did" because company no longer exists. coordinated special events, got more media exposure through press releases, media kits, pitches. Every once in awhile cold calling.
Did you know that other PR firms also worked with mayor? Yes.
Did you work with them? Mostly worked on our own.
Walker says they were engaged January 2001.
Contract provides for payment of funds over a year? Yes.
Looks like you split up in 3 payments. Yes.
Did he tell you he wanted to raise his image? Yes.
10:11AM Thomas asks Walker to look at document. Do you recognize it? Yes.
Is it the contract from January 8th 2001? Yes.
Thomas puts document on overhead. Document dated January 8th but made effective January 1st 2001.
Services were to provide 20 hours of PR services to Kwame Kilpatrick including handling speaking requests. The contract agreement with Contact Sports clearly states "The services include but are not limited to, creating and distributing press packages, researching speaking opportunities, handling speaking requests, scheduling speaking engagements and assisting with coordination of promotions and community relations efforts related to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund and/or Democratic Caucus as needed."
Did you provide services for the Civic Fund? We may have. That's what the contract says.
In the media kit, did you talk about things you thought were important for Kilpatrick? Yes.
Who put it together? My partner and I.
Was it extensive? Yes.
Do you remember putting together a "Go TV" message script? No I don't.
Do you remember putting out a PR initiative as relates to that? I don't remember but it's possible.
When did you finish working for Kilpatrick? December 2001.
Not April 2001? No.
Do you remember anything you entered as relates running for mayor? No says witness.
10:20AM Bullotta redirects.
Was the highlighter there when you signed contract? I can't say that could have been there.
Was yellow highlighting there asks the judge? As in the marker. Oh no says witness.
Did you ever do press releases for Kilpatrick Civic Fund? Not that I recall.
The media kit, did that include a description of the Civic Fund? Not that I remember.
What was your ultimate goal asks Bullotta? Originally when he first hired us, it was to raise Kwame Kilpatrick's profile. Then when he announced candidacy for mayor, it was to help get him elected.
10:23AM Thomas redirects.
Contract says nothing about running for mayor but says Kilpatrick Civic Fund? Yes.
There is a spill over effect because you can't separate Kwame from his image? Yes.
Was most of the work between months of January and June? Not necessarily.
The bulk of work with articles to ebony and Savoy before June? Yes.
Thomas says he is done. Witness is excused and Judge call for 20 minute break.
10:45AM Nearing end of the break. Courtroom has filled up again as everyone awaits the judge.
Kwame, in yet another bow tie, talks to defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn as Bobby Ferguson scribbles notes.
10:48AM Judge re-enters courtroom.
Government calls Virginia Harvey.
Jennifer Blackwell for the government.
Judge calls for everyone to be seated. Witness is sworn in.
Harvey works at Peter Hart Research, public opinion polling, in DC. Been there nearly 20 years and is Chief Financial Officer. Financial management, lease negotiations.
Hired in 2005 by Kilpatrick for Mayor Campaign? Yes.
Witness did surveys and focus groups.
What did surveys consist of? Telephone surveys of voters. about 500.
As a result, a report was generated. Senior analyst Frederick Yang generated it. the survey was of voters in the Detroit area.
Exhibit KCF 36- memorandum from Mr. Yang to the Kilpatrick Campaign. Witness turns to page 5- it's the invoice. Page prior is email from witness to the campaign, it went to the Kilpatrick for Mayor campaign. Next page is attached invoice to the campaign. Then it is an email from Yang to witness and controller. The next page is email from witness to Christine Beatty and revised invoice.
Looking at page 2 of KCF 36- dated September 13th 2005. Regarding findings fo poll in 2005. Memorandum from Mr. Yang.
Memorandum finding says difficult time for mayor. "The road to November 8th. Beating Hendrix will be very tough given the candidates' profiles, the electorate's devastation and relatively short time frame until the general election."
"But the positive can only take us so far given the numbers...."
Recommendations from Yang: 1- set positive edge. Shows him fighting against foe and winning.
Blackwell asks for page 5 of the exhibit. Witness says it's an email from her to the campaign for $26,500.
Invoice for $26,500.
Email dated October 12th 2005. Asks client to resubmit and send it to Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Another email from witness to Christine Beatty with revised invoice. Client listed as Kilpatrick Civic Fund. For $26,500.
Has Peter Hart research done work for Kilpatrick Civic fund? No.
KCF 35- check of the payment received. Dated October 19th 2005 from Kilpatrick Civic Fund. signed by Christine Beatty and Derrick Miller.
Other services done for mayor? Yes.
Who paid for those? Kilpatrick for Mayor.
11:02AM Thomas cross-examines.
Who was your main contact when you worked for them? I never contacted them.
Never met Christine Beatty or Miller? No.
What is Darren Hart Yang- internal group that does research at Peter Hart.
Do you know why anyone would want to do a poll other than a political campaign? Witness says there are commercial clients, associations, unions and non-profits.
Witness says we do have non-profits as clients.
Do you understand the subtle distinctions between 501c3 and 501c4? No. I'm the Chief Financial Officer.
Decision on who it was who was going to pay that bill not yours? Yes.
Invoice was in some fashion changed? Yes.
Did you change it? Yes.
Did you think that strange? No.
You said that's not unusual and happens on occasion? Yes.
You had no reason to believe you were perpetuating a fraud? No.
Why does someone do polling? Is there such a thing as candidate or issue polling? Witness says again my expertise is in finances.
Do you know why Mr. Yang asked you to re-invoice client? No.
11:07AM Thomas redirects.
Witness says polling was for the campaign for mayor.
11:08AM Government calls agent Carol Paszkiewicz.
Mark Chutkow for government.
Traditionally investigates environmental crimes typically in Michigan. Got B.A. at Michigan Sate. Went to EPA since 1997. Been a special agent for them.
Called in at the beginning of 2009. Looking at various contracts executed by water department.
Witness says investigative team got text messages in Excel format. they were uploaded into a searchable database.
We as investigative team reviewed them to see what was allowable evidence. Narrowed them down.
Authorized for text messages relating to bribery, extortion, racketeering, fraud.
Did you find text messages in those categories? Yes we did.
Witness says if I was interviewing individuals, could enter the names in database and see if they were involved in text messages.
Witness narrowed down to 200 messages that would be used in this trial. Took them out of Concordance into Word Perfect, made font bigger and bolded it to delineate it from the original.
Some of the exhibits will be singular message but most are exchanges, a conversation.
Was there any alteration of spelling or punctuation? No there was not.
Received a subpoena with pin numbers and users. Made lists and charts of pin numbers and users for correlations. Sometimes pin numbers changed.
Witness reviewed pin numbers to make sure they were accurate.
Exhibit TXT 18- witness reviewed it. Summary chart of pins used.
Pins are SKYTEL. Carrier is Verizon Wireless.
Ist 3 entries are for Bobby Ferguson, then Bernard Kilpatrick. Then Victor Mercado information.
Remaining entries are other individuals.
Not all of them were SKYTEL? No.
Exhibits TXT 9 and 10- Chutkow asks witness to look at them. Witness says it's text message that is a dual text to 2 people.
TXT 9- Sent from Kwame Kilpattrick to Bernard Kilpatrick and Derrick Miller on July 21st 2003. Sends his V card with all his information. His address, phone number are all on it. Time stamped 3:05PM.
TXT 10- SKYTEL text from Kwame to Bobby and Victor Mercado. Another v card, electronic business card.
Exhibits TXT 14 and 15- 14 is another text message from a later PIN of Kwame to Derrick Miller on July 23rd 2004. Next one same date to Bernard and Bobby.
14: V card sent to Derrick Miller.
15: Text between Kwame and Bobby and Bernard reflecting his new pin.
Now looking at TXT 5- from Bobby Ferguson to Kwame Kilpatrick on August 8th 2002.
11::27AM Looking at an exchange between email@example.com - Mahlon clift-and Bobby Ferguson on February 16th 2005. Regarding new blackberry number for clift. at the end, Bobby announces his new pin. Bobby did not continue to use his SKYTEL after this.
TXT 12: Witness looks at text message exchange between Victor Mercado and Derrick Miller and Kwame Kilpatrick. First entry is Victor announcing his new two way address. Kwame responds. Got it. can't wait to talk with you. see you later."
RC 11: Text message on August 3rd 2004 between Bernard and Kwame. Reply from Bernard: cool! We need to have one of our meetings.. you, nme zeke and Bobby... (Zeke is Derrick miller.)
Reply from Kwame is Cool.
RC 12: Text message on August 4th 2004 between Bernard and Kwame." we (me) need that meeting i was talking about...me you and zeke... my crib late. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...It's all small stuff... ZIZ (Bernard's nickname). (08/04 4:40PM EDT)
Reply from Kwame Cool (08/04 3:42PM CDT)
Reply from Bernard "Let me know after you talk to him (08/04 4:43PM EDT).
11:34AM Thomas cross examines.
Thomas says many different ways to say cool. Tries different intonations for witness.
Cool means a lot of different things like pivot? No I wouldn't say pivot.
Cool might mean different things? "Well it also means temperature," says witness
RC 12 referred to by Thomas. Which is first conversation?
Thomas says cool can mean many different things.
You eliminated many different exchanges? No that's not true.
Witness says let me clarify something. In Concordance, I can run a search and sort them chronologically to see if something was in between. I know when we isolated this one, anything going on between these 2 people is reflected in this exhibit.
Thomas says you can't see who is being communicated before and after that? Witness says I can.
Thomas says but jury can't? Witness says I can tell jury that there wasn't anything before and after.
Witness says this document does not reflect if for example he asked to pick up his dry cleaning.
Thomas says you are determining what is important? Correct.
Thomas says there may have been other things going on? Not in terms of conversation.
11:42AM John Shea for Bernard Kilpatrick cross-examines.
Shea says the defendants didn't limit texting to just each other? Correct.
You wouldn't be surprised that these gentlemen communicated contact info to other people as well? Oh I know that to be true.
Don't sweat the small stuff could be standard sign off? Correct.
You didn't intend for that to be the substance of the text message. No I didn't.
11:44AM Gerald Evelyn for Bobby Ferguson cross examines.
Looking at TXT 17- a purported communication between Bobby and Mahlon clift? Yes sir.
How many other Mahlon clift to Bobby do recall seeing? None says witness.
Witness steps down.
11:45AM Government calls Brian Lang.
Mark Chutkow for government. Judge swears witness in.
Witness works for Spy Ops on Southfield Rd. in Lathrup Village, Michigan. Surveillance store selling spying gadgets for checking on cheating spouses.
Sells covert cameras, custom make cameras, overt (regular security) cameras. Recording equipment.
Custom make a lot of stuff. Give him an item and they will take a look and build a camera in a hidden location. Could be a Kleenex box, or coffee pot pointing in front of him. "I'm hoping not!" says Judge Edmunds.
"It's hilarious the stuff we come across!" says the witness.
Also sell counter-surveillance so finding someone who has planted covert surveillance. One of the services witness provides.
It's a lot more of corporate individuals protecting secrets. Sometimes with spouses but mostly corporate.
Judge asks witness to slow down.
Witness says 70 to 80% business is corporate, the rest mostly spousal cheating.
How much of you business would be a charitable organization? "My gosh I can't think of any."
In 2007, did someone from the mayor's office visit you? Yes, Bob/Rob Gibson looking for counter surveillance.
Did he tell you who he was working for?
Thomas objects. Judge sustains.
What did Mr. Gibson say he wanted? Witness showed me his credentials, worked for the city. Specifiucally wanted to look for covert cameras.
Did Mr. Gibson ask why he wanted it? Witness says mainly for mayor's office, all the principals offices of the city.
Did he tell you why he needed to get this material? Witness says Gibson told him there was some controversy amongst people in the office. Some distrust going on and wanted to do sweeps for protection of the staff working there.
Judge calls break for 10 minutes. seems a female juror may not be feeling well.
12:06PM According to a Local 4 producer who has dealt with the Spy Ops witness currently on the stand, he hands out business cards where he refers to himself as "Little Bear."
Still waiting for session to resume. It all depends on how the sick juror is doing.....
For the first time since witness testimony in this trial began, former water boss Victor Mercado was mentioned. He was referenced in terms of text messages isolated for the case.
12:15PM Judge enters room. Witness retakes the stand.
Judge makes mention about security officers and the press. Judge says she has rule that media shall not talk to anyone related to the case, including lawyers, in the courtroom or on the 8th floor. There is no prohibition talking to the press anywhere else. Please observe that reporters and lawyers. Marshalls don't know what you're talking about it- doesn't matter. It's important to maintain a semblance of propriety and not an inappropriate exchange of info.
Jury called back in.
12:18PM Chutkow shows something to witness. It's a receipt from our store. Maybe from 10/17/07ish for merchandise purchased by Mr. Gibson with check from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Invoice for: technical surveillance kit, wireless camera finder, UHF/VHF tester, pelican case .
Sky Ops invoice lists Kilpatrick Civic Fund as client. check for $1,397.08.
KCF 9B on overhead: device will find anything transmitting on low or high frequencies. If someone planted a device transmitted signal, this would find it.
Witness says a person would plant covert camera or audio device. Once you come across the device, it will start vibrating. "Ultimate game of cat and mouse basically" says Little Bear.
Most dangerous ones are the ones that leech off power already in the room. Good to build into that so you don't have to switch out batteries. so in electrical socket or lights.
Majority of covert equipment constantly transmits. Some have burst bug device where bug records for 30seconds and sends out signal every 2 minutes.
Chutkow asks witness to look at KCF 9A: second device purchased by Gibson. "Spyfinder" can find any camera, overt or covert. Little red bulbs with flashing lights, you'll see a distinct flashback when you come across camera. Hand held device.
This guy loves his job.
KCF 9C: The wireless camera hunter. Gets its own 007 acronym. Once it receives a signal, it'll put a picture on the screen. It takes signal and breaks down frequency band.
Only works on wireless cameras. Can set it on a counter. Wireless cameras more dangerous.
Witness says when they build kits, they build kits for teaching.
KCF 9E: picture of 2.4 gigahertz camera receiver. "Basically it's the virus and the other devices are the cure."
Wireless camera with proper receiver to pick it up.
KCF 9D shown to witness: "Looks like a battle ship" murmurs witness. A VHF/UHF detector. Device can lock on to any transmitting bug, finds the frequency transmitting and demodulates it.
KCF 8: check that paid for all the items says witness. From Kilpatrick Civic Fund on October 15th 2007 for $1,397.08. Signed by C. Beatty.
Chutkow asks if he has ever met Christine Beatty? No.
Do you know what the Kilpatrick Civic Fund is? No clue.
Witness says he talked Gibson through the items and told them how to use them.
Chutkow did you help install or train on the items besides Mr. Gibson? No.
Ever selling this equipment to Mr. Gibson, did he ask for any more counter-surveillance? Yeah. Shortly after, we got a called to go to Chief of Police Evans office. Witness says it was coordinated by EPU.
Witness says it was late, 9 or 10PM and everyone was gone. witness was met outside building by Gibson and member of EPU. They were in burgundy police car.
Went up back way to offices. Took a couple of hours to do job.
Was subcontracted out by RSIG says witness.
Witness says TSIM search was of sheriff's office.
Witness says they walked by back way and he saw statue of Coleman Young.
Gibson and EPU showed witness old and dated equipment.
Witness ended up selling them this equipment after the threat assessment.
12:38PM Thomas cross-examines
Never met Kwame? Never.
Never talked to him about surveillance equipment? Never.
Never talked to Christine Beatty? Never.
Invoice made out to Kilpatrick Civic Fund? Yes.
Did you tell agent Sauer in a meeting on April 5th 2010 that the Officer-Gibson- told you that he wanted the equipment for training? Yes.
Witness says I trained Gibson, who he trained I have no clue.
Thomas says you went out to a place to search out electronic surveillance, when was that in relations to equipment? Did it before equipment was purchased.
Thomas says you described an auditorium with a statue of Coleman Young. Yes
"I don't anything down here but Lafayette Coney Island. I want to be left alone and go back to my hole." says witness.
Witness says he remembers a picture of Godbee with Barack Obama.
Witness says he swept office and outside office.
Thomas says do you know if Warren Evans was chief of police at the time? Don't know.
Thomas says did you know you were sweeping Evans office? "Dead giveaway was the name plate that said Warren Evans," says witness.
Did you find anything? No.
RSIG: Retail Services Investigations the witness subcontracts from.
Have you seen Gibson since purchase? Ironically, I ran into him a few months back.
Are they still using your equipment? I have no idea.
The idea of training police officers for surveillance, why is that important? Witness says he brought idea, when SWAT would run raids and not know about surveillance there when people took off their masks.
Did you discuss this with Gibson? Yes.
12:48PM Chutkow redirects.
When Gibson came in did he tell you that he was buying it to keep his officers safe from narcotics raid? No.
Why did he say he was buying it? He did security for mayor's mansion and wanted equipment to protect powers-to-be.
No further questions for government.
12:49PM Thomas redirects.
You had conversation with Gibson? Yes.
About sweeping mayor's mansion? No Gibson does that, not me.
Didn't he tell you that he swept Coleman Young's when he lived at mansion? Yes.
Not Kwame Kilpatrick? He told me he swept Coleman Young's office and he was going to sweep Kwame Kilpatrick's office.
Gibson told witness he was EPU officer.
Did he tell you he was in charge of office's electronic equipment? Witness says he wired offices with alarms and other stuff.
Did he indicate to you he was in charge of electronics for police? Yes.
Did he tell you equipment was for training? No.
Did you tell agent Sauer that equipment was bought for training purposes? Yes.
Witness says bottom line equipment is to test.
Witness excused. Judge excuses jurors. Tells sick juror she hopes she feels better.
Apparently a female juror, one of the alternates, had earlier put her hand over her mouth and said she had to be sick. Thus the abrupt break earlier.
Jurors loved Little Bear, the last witness. So did I- guy was pure comedy. Reminded me of Silent Bob without the silent part....
Court resumes tomorrow at 9AM.
RECAP: Jurors heard testimony today about public relations consulting services and surveillance equipment that were paid out of the non-profit pockets of the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
The charity was purportedly established to benefit children and promote community well-being within the city of Detroit.
Charles Robert Berg testified that his Public Relations firm Berg Muirhead & Associates was contracted in 2001 to help with political strategy and media relations in Kwame Kilpatrick's mayoral run. Berg stated that he worked for the campaign between May and October 2001 and that his monthly fee was $15,000.
At least $10,000 of that was paid by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, in two separate checks of $5,000. The first check was dated July 24th 2001 and the second was August 21st 2001.
Jim Thomas, Kwame Kilpatrick's defense lawyer, argued that the Kilpatrick mayoral campaign had to contend with an issue in that time period that was directly related to the Civic Fund. Media outlets had begun questioning the propriety of Detroit homeless shelter operator John Rutherford's contributions to the Civic fund in the summer of 2001.
"When you were advising on the Rutherford matter wouldn't that have related to a non-profit?" Thomas asked the witness. Berg responded yes.
However on redirect, the government pointed out the since the first article on the subject was published on August 29th, 2001, both of the checks were issued on earlier dates.
"So in your mind were you being paid these checks to somehow assist the Kilpatrick Civic Fund?" asked U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow.
No, answered Berg, "our focus was totally on the campaign."
Wayne State employee Tracy Walker testified that in 2001, her now defunct firm Contact Sports was also enlisted to provide public relations services to the former mayor. Of more than $21,000 invoiced, $14,975.95 was paid from the Civic Fund.
On cross examination, however, Thomas demonstrated that the contractual agreement with Contact Sports did include the stipulation "to assist with coordination of promotions and community relations efforts related to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund."
Another witness, Virginia Harvey with public opinion pollsters Peter Hart Research, testified that her company was made to resubmit a revised invoice for $26,500 listing the client as the Kilpatrick Civic Fund instead of Kilpatrick for Mayor campaign.
The most humorous testimony on the day came from Spy Ops employee Brian Lang, aka "Little Bear". The witness testified that he sold almost $1,400 worth of surveillance equipment in 2007 to Bob Gibson from the mayor's office. Gibson told the witness that he wanted to run a sweep of the former mayor's offices. The payment for the equipment also came from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Lang recounted how he was called by Gibson to run a counter-surveillance sweep of some offices in downtown Detroit. When asked where the offices where, Lang was hazy in his recollections remembering only that he was led up a back way, past an auditorium-like room and a bust of Coleman Young's face.
"I don't do anything down here but Lafayette Coney Island," said Lang in response to not being able to pin down exactly where he was.
Thomas asked Lang if he knew he was sweeping former Detroit Police chief Warren Evans's office.
"Dead giveaway was the name plate that said 'Warren Evans',"said Little Bear.
Testimony resumes tomorrow at 9AM.
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.