(WXYZ) - A star witness in the federal corruption trial of former Kwame Kilpatrick made a startling claim about a secret meeting with the former mayor.
Kilpatrick’s former aide and long-time friend Derrick Miller testified that Kilpatrick went inside a Chinese restaurant bathroom years ago to accept a bribe.
Miller said that inside the Asian Village restaurant he handed the mayor an envelope stuffed with $100 bills. It was money, he said, that Kilpatrick asked for from restaurant developer Andrew Park—and it was around the same time Park sought a big investment from the city’s pension fund.
Did that hand-off happen, sir?
Miller said when he handed the money to Kilpatrick, he responded, “Cool.”
The alleged bathroom bribe was the biggest revelation to come out Miller’s testimony today. As he has the previous two days, Miller spoke softly but firmly, offering detail when he said he could remember it, and acknowledging when he was fuzzy was on dates, times or places.
“He’s no shill for the government. When he doesn’t know, he says he doesn’t know, and that’s al you can ask. You tell what you know, and what you don’t know,” said Miller’s attorney Byron Pitts.
And for the first time all week, defense lawyers got a chance to cross-examine Miller. First up was Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea. He pushed back on claims that his client improperly profited as a consultant on city deals, like the Synagro sludge contract. He pointed out to Miller that lots of former public officials became consultants for city vendors later on in their careers and made honest money doing it . And Miller agreed.
But things weren’t as easy for the ex-mayor’s lawyer Jim Thomas. He tried to get Miller to soften some of his earlier testimony, but failed each time. For an hour, Thomas focused on Kilpatrick’s non-profit Civic Fund. Thomas tied to say that the fund was used to conduct polling not to help further Kilpatrick’s campaign, as the feds have said, it was to help the city. But Miller disagreed.
“The Civic Fund polling was done for the purposes of running for Mayor," said Miller.
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