DETROIT (AP) — A high-ranking aide to former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick told jurors Monday that he picked up thousands of dollars in bribes for his boss from a contractor at the city’s convention center where both men had broad powers over operations.
Derrick Miller, who was Detroit’s chief administrative officer, said he collected thousands of dollars “once or twice,” typically in stacks of hundred-dollar bills, for Kilpatrick, whom he has known since high school. Miller said he also took his own payoffs from Karl Kado, who held contracts at Cobo Center during Kilpatrick’s nearly seven years in office.
“I picked it up from Kado, took it to (Kilpatrick). … I didn’t count it but it was a lot of money. Five (thousand) to 10,000,” said Miller, whose testimony matched what Kado said earlier in the trial.
Miller’s testimony is important for prosecutors trying to prove that Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and pal Bobby Ferguson spent years rigging contracts and taking payoffs. Miller was a defendant in the case until 2011, when he pleaded guilty to taking bribes and committing tax crimes and agreed to help the government.
Kilpatrick at times grinned, shook his head, consulted with his lawyer and took many notes while Miller, nicknamed “Zeke,” answered questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow.
Miller met Kilpatrick in a ninth-grade English class and later worked on his staff at the state Legislature. He helped hatch Kilpatrick’s first run for mayor in 2001 and held senior roles at city hall.
As chief administrative officer, Miller had authority over Cobo Center, its director and contractors. Cobo now is run by a regional board and no longer is solely in the hands of city government.
“It was wrong to take cash from a contractor I was responsible for overseeing,” Miller said of his own illegal payments.
Monday was the 49th day of Kilpatrick’s trial.
Earlier, prosecutors displayed checks on a screen to reinforce allegations of illegal spending from Kilpatrick’s Civic Fund, which was promoted as a nonprofit fund to help the community. Checks from the fund paid for golf clubs, yoga, an $8,600 stay at a resort and political polling. Miller signed many of them.
Miller said Kilpatrick lied when he said at a 2001 debate that Civic Fund money wasn’t used by the campaign. When a TV station learned about the trip to a resort in Carlsbad, Calif., Kilpatrick told his aides that he was there to raise money for the fund, but that wasn’t true either, Miller said.
“He basically had to come up with some kind of response,” Miller testified.
Miller pleaded guilty in 2011, admitting he accepted $115,000 from a real estate broker in connection with the lease or sale of city properties and $10,000 from a contractor at Cobo Center, a convention hall. Miller has yet to be sentenced, but his cooperation could help him avoid a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.
Kilpatrick, a Democrat whose mother is former U.S. Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, was elected mayor in 2001. He resigned in 2008 and pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about having sex with an aide. He subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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