By JERUD BUHAGIAR, Guest Writer
Kwame Kilpatrick was in court again Friday accused of hoarding large amounts of unexplained and untaxed money that found its way into his bank account.
Prosecutors made sure to play a live debate between Kilpatrick and then mayoral challenger, Gil Hill, in the 2001 mayoral race. Kilpatrick said during the debate that he had not illegally misused funds from his charity, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
Prosecutors believe Kilpatrick used his charity to his own personal benefit. Kilpatrick went so far as to say “I have done nothing illegal or improper since I’ve been born.”
BACKGROUND: Corruption trial for Kwame Kilpatrick has begun
Kilpatrick is under speculation for misusing charity funds on various items and services including golf clubs, yoga classes, and summer camps for his kids, counter-surveillance and anti-bugging equipment, and much more.
The board of the Civic Fund was comprised of members from the Kilpatrick clan including his Chief of Staff and mistress, Christine Beatty, his aide Derrick Miller and his sister Ayanna Ferguson. IRS records show that Ferguson was paid $43,115 in 2008 to rent out her house as the Civic Fund’s “headquarters.” The prosecution expects Miller to testify in court against Kilpatrick.
Meanwhile, text messages show that Kilpatrick met his fundraiser, Emma Bell, in the mayor’s office in August 2003. Bell claims she delivered kickbacks to Kilpatrick inside his office. The text to Kilpatrick from his longtime friend DeDan Milton read “Emma wanted to stop in later @ 5-10 minutes max, what should I tell her,” Milton admitted to taking about $16,000 in kickbacks from the sale of two city lands.
He was sentenced to three years and six months in prison and prosecutors expect him to testify against Kilpatrick.