Chutkow posted a graph for jurors that looked like the rising stock price of a high-flying company. It showed a major spike in Kilpatrick’s cash deposits after he was elected in 2001.
Kilpatrick’s defense lawyer said his client simply saved money and got cash gifts from supporters at holidays and at birthdays, including a hotel party called “Splash of Red.”
It was “no splash of red,” the prosecutor countered. “It was a tidal wave of green.”
Defense attorneys said the government was trying to turn the defendants’ close relationships into criminal acts. They said Kilpatrick, who is black, wanted to help Ferguson, who is black, and other minority-owned businesses.
“That agenda was a smoke screen,” Chutkow told jurors. “They were equal opportunity extortionists. They drove out black and white contractors who got in their way, and they laughed at people when they came to the Kilpatrick administration for help.”
Kilpatrick, a Democrat, resigned as mayor in 2008 in another scandal. He pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about whether he had had sex with a top aide. He subsequently served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.