On Trial: Inside The Kwame Kilpatrick Case ( Blog #5 )


This week in other Detroit sex scandal news, the chief of police, Ralph Godbee is expected to give his resignation to Mayor Dave Bing after an affair with a female officer went public on twitter. Both officers are married and had been involved in sexual relations for months. After tweeting an image of herself giving a blow job to a gun, Officer Angelica Robinson quickly became the scorned other woman, outing their relationship to the world. Oddly enough, Mayor Bing put Godbee in place just 2 years ago after firing the former Police Chief Warren Evans over a sex scandal that involved a woman later revealed to be creeping with Godbee as well. With all the hoopla of another man of power in the hot seat, this week’s testimonies for the Kilpatrick US federal trial on corruption were more nostalgic than current news.

At the beginning of week two of testimonies, images and reflections of a much younger Kilpatrick were on the screen and in conversation. More of Kilpatrick’s security and drivers team were on the stand, specifically this week to discuss the mayor’s relationships and often visits from Emma Bell. Bell testified that she considered herself to be Kilpatrick’s second mom, knowing him way before the flavored gators and styled suits, when we was a political protégée. Prosecutors bought the witness, Emma Bell on the stand Thursday morning to prove that she constantly gave Kilpatrick loads of bills in his office and at his residence. She even testified to carry large sums of money in her bra. There were time during her testimony that she paused for long period of times and even teared up to convey her love and admiration for her “son,” Kwame. Bell was paid more than $900,000 while raising money for Kilpatrick’s campaign fund and a separate nonprofit fund for five years. She testified to kicking back more than $200,000 to him for his own use, typically in amounts of less than $10,000. This was cash from campaign funds and his non-profit Civic Fund, ran by Bobby Ferguson. Bell was hired as a fundraiser, raise the money then 10-15 percent kicking some back to the mayor, she testified.

One of the most infamous exchanges in court went something like this.

“I don’t want to get indelicate here,” Kilpatrick’s defense attorney James Thomas said on cross-examination. “But are you telling the jury you took the money out of your bra in that closed room and gave it to him?”

Emma Bell replied: “I would take money out of my bra in front of my son, sir.”

By the end of the week, the prosecutors played a video of Kilpatrick during a campaign speech from 2001. An idealistic campaigner, Kilpatrick told an electric audience that not “one penny” of his non-profile money was spent campaign. Why? “Because it would be illegal,” recorded Kilpatrick. Back then, the young mayor looked plump and young, now more refined and chiseled, some might say, richer.

Here are the facts:

A powerful witness on the prosecutors side was Daniel Gotoff who testified his firm, Lake, Snell, Perry and Associates was hired by Bob Berg, a member of Kilpatrick’s media team, to conduct a survey of likely Detroit voters in spring 2001. The 20-minute survey probed people’s feelings about Kilpatrick and his re-election for mayor. Gotoff said all of their invoices were paid by the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. Checks were entered into evidence of the transactions.

Kwame Kilpatrick took to Twitter on Thursday night to vent about his trial. “If this case was in another State, not paid for by taxpayers, & my life was not on the line, this ish would be laughable.”

What went down this week that was powerful.

Jurors has normally been paid $40 per day to serve during this lengthy trial, this week Judge Edmonds raised their pay to $50 bucks per day plus mileage. They have a 15- to 20-minute break each session. A female juror was told not to return because she had been caught sleeping during trial.

Until next week, @DarralynnHutson