The prosecution poked a hole today in former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's story that his getaway to a posh ski resort with his ex-mistress and former aide, Christine Beatty, involved a national mayor's conference.
There was no such conference in Denver that year, per courtroom testimony.
But Kilpatrick's lawyer James Thomas came up with another theory: What about a meeting with a mayor? Perhaps Kilpatrick met with the mayor of Denver, he suggested, but no one checked it out.
Howzabout if he had his picture taken with Mayor McCheese and the Hamburglar?
"Are you ruling out the possibility that there may have been other meetings?" Thomas asked IRS agent Rowena Schuch, who investigated Kilpatrick's 2002 trip to Vail, Colo., with Beatty.
Oh, I 'magine he had a meeting or two...
Schuch had testified that she checked with three national mayor's groups, and none reported having any meeting or conference in Denver in November 2002. She did not specifically call the mayor of Denver to see whether he ever met with Kilpatrick, she said.
Got it, but did she call Mayor McCheese or the Hamburglar?
The $1,009 trip is one of many perks that the government said were funded by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a nonprofit that was supposed to help youths, enhance Detroit neighborhoods and educate voters. The fund has been the focus of the trial in the last two weeks. Jurors have seen dozens of civic fund checks paying for everything from golf clubs and yoga for Kilpatrick, to college tuition for his relatives and a vacation to California.
The prosecution put a dent in the defense's claim that Kilpatrick's children had graduated from their preschool a year before the school received a $5,000 civic fund check for graduation ceremonies.
When prosecutors showed the check to the jury last week, Thomas argued that Kilpatrick's children had graduated before the check was received. But the preschool teacher, Lynda Byrd, testified today that the Kilpatrick twins had attended her school that year and were part of the graduation ceremonies that the civic fund check was going toward. The festivities, she testified, included a kinder prom and a trip to Cedar Point.
Okay, these f'ing kids were like 5, or younger. What's a bunch of five year olds going to do at Cedar Point except piss themselves on the bus there and back? I've never been to goddamned Cedar Point, cross to The Deprivations of Guest, but...hey, wait a minute. Maybe they went down to CP on Soave's Gulfstream V. That woulda been cool.
It also included a giant tent, which was needed because the forecast called for rain, she said. That's how the civic fund donation came about, she testified. When Carlita Kilpatrick heard that it might rain and that a tent would be needed, she gave the school a $5,000 check, she testified.
Because you can't just go out and rent a big-ass tent for a day...no, actually that was kind of thoughtful of Carlita. I mean, it wasn't her money or anything but she coulda spent it on shoes or a manicure.
Byrd also testified that she had not seen a check that size from a parent before and did not pay attention to the check's source.
"I wasn't focused that it said 'civic fund.' ... I'm not a politician ... I didn't examine it in that manner."
No doubt she was totally focused on that fivefuckingthousand dollars thing. Whoa.
Thomas has argued that the preschool donation was justified because it involved an educational event and that it served as a community event, which were among the civic fund's goals.
This is the kind of thing that I'll bet plenty of politicos do. Somebody's kid was really looking forward to having his brit in Vegas, but now he'll have to settle for having his picture taken at McDonald's. Thanks for fucking that one up, Fatso.
The prosecution also attacked a defense claim involving a 2002 trip that Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, took to New Orleans. Two weeks ago, prosecutors showed the jury an airline ticket voucher bought for Bernard Kilpatrick with money from the civic fund.
I read somewhere else that they had tape of Bernard putting the arm on somebody for $5K for his dad's ninetieth birthday party. He could've just asked for the money, it would have been easier to argue later that it was legit, but the big dummy had to say that it was for cake and party hats. And the mark was from out of state, meaning he'd have to mail it, which triggered postal fraud and interstate charges.
Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea argued that there was no proof -- such as credit card receipts for restaurants -- that his client was ever in New Orleans.
Thye didn't look hard enough for a picture of the big goof with the Hamburglar.
Today, an IRS agent produced such evidence.
Oh, here's the picture...
Jurors saw, for example, Bernard Kilpatrick's Diners Card, Master Card and Visa invoices, which showed restaurant charges in New Orleans and jewelry purchases during that period.
Diners Club? There's still a Diner's Club?
"It appears, now, that Bernard Kilpatrick was, in fact, in New Orleans. ... He's there during the relevant period of time," Shea conceded.
Shea noted that there was another authorized user on his client's credit cards, suggesting that someone else may have made the purchases.
Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, his longtime friend Bobby Ferguson and ex-city water boss Victor Mercado are charged with running a criminal enterprise through the mayor's office to enrich themselves. They are accused of -- among other things -- rigging bids, shaking down contractors and using nonprofit funds for personal use.
All men deny the charges.
The government has broken down the complex racketeering case in chapters. So far, jurors have heard two chapters. The first one involved allegations that Kilpatrick steered a state grant, which was meant to help kids and seniors, to his codefendant Ferguson, who allegedly used the money to renovate his office, and to his wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, who allegedly received more than $100,000 for a project she did little to no work on. The second chapter has involved allegations that Kilpatrick used the civic fund as his personal piggy bank, defrauding donors and violating IRS rules about nonprofits. Specifically, Kilpatrick is charged with mail fraud for allegedly soliciting civic fund donations through the mail or Federal Express. He also is charged with failing to report the civic fund perks on his taxes.
The next chapter starts Thursday. The subject: extortion.
The Kilpatrick Enterprise is accused of shaking down contractors and instilling fear in the contractor community to make sure that Ferguson got a cut of city contract deals.
As Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow explained in court today: "It was widely known in the contract community that if you did not do business with Bobby Ferguson, your chances of getting a contract (in the city) were slim."
Testimony will resume Thursday.
It's amazing that somebody who's supposedly so smart, and especially mind blowing that someone who's supposedly that smart and undoubtedly that crooked, seems to be completely ignorant of the concept of money laundering. This is like following Hansel & Gretel and picking up KCF checks.