Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Won’t Testify in Own Defense

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  • DETROIT (AP) — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick declined to testify Wednesday as the presentation of evidence in his corruption trial closed after nearly 70 days.

    Kilpatrick told a judge that he understood he had the right to speak in his own defense but would pass. His father, Bernard, and buddy Bobby Ferguson also declined to personally rebut the government’s evidence of kickbacks, fraud and tax violations during the younger Kilpatrick’s time at city hall.

    Closing arguments are set for Monday.

    Kilpatrick, 42, declined to comment outside court. The Kilpatricks and Ferguson are charged with a broad scheme to enrich themselves by fixing contracts and pressuring businesses to pay bribes to stay in favor.

    An IRS agent recently testified that Kilpatrick’s spending exceeded his W-2 tax statements by more than $800,000 from 2003 to 2008. His defense lawyer has suggested Kilpatrick saved money before becoming mayor and said he was showered with cash gifts from staff and supporters while in office.

    The final witnesses Wednesday were two people who said Ferguson spent millions of dollars on equipment and insurance. It was an effort to show that he had a legitimate construction business, which no one has disputed.

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