Kilpatrick trial: Key witness admits memory problems

(WXYZ) - The former Cobo Center contractor who Monday told the jury he gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes seemed at times to change his testimony under cross examination Tuesday.

Karl Kado admitted he has memory problems, and the defense really played up that fact that Kado secretly recorded people at the request of the government.

"Did Mr. Kado give you cash," 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo asked former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick still won't answer questions outside federal court, but inside the courtroom, a key government witness answered several questions differently Tuesday than he did Wednesday.

Karl Kado told the jury in the Kilpatrick Corruption Case on Monday that the former mayor called him after he took office in 2002 and asked for $10,000. Tuesday, Kilpatrick lawyer Jim Thomas got the 72-year-old to admit he told the feds he fears he's suffering from dementia, and that Kado could remember few details about when and where he supposedly gave the former mayor money.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson are on trial, accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall.Federal prosecutors say Kado paid both Kilpatricks and former mayoral aide Derrick Miller more than $360,000 to keep his multi-million dollar contracts at Cobo Center.

Thomas suggested Kado had told FBI agents that call from Kilpatrick requesting money was made during his first run for mayor – not after he was in office. Thomas got Kado to agree that "It wasn't unusual for Kwame Kilpatrick to ask [him] for a campaign contribution." Kado also said "yes" when Thomas asked, "It was you that decided to give Derrick Miller $10,000 – not because anyone asked for cash or ten thousand dollars?"

The defense also played up Kado's cooperation deal with the feds, getting Kado to admit to the jury he was facing prison time for skimming cash off his businesses.

"I think at the end of the day, I don't think the man has much credibility. He's certainly trying to save his skin," said Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj.

During questioning by assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta on Monday – Kado's bombshell testimony even involved a demonstration of how Kado says Bernard Kilpatrick once patted him down for listening devices.

Today, Bernard Kilpatrick's attorney John Shea questioned Kado about how his testimony Monday didn't always match what he told FBI Special Agent Robert Beeckman during multiple meetings dating back to 2006.

Shea also played several FBI wiretapped phone calls that he says show Bernard Kilpatrick was actually working to help Kado as a consultant. On Monday, Kado said Bernard demanded 10% of the $1.6 Million Kado believed the city owed him. Today, Shea got Kado to agree Kilpatrick never demanded 10% -- it was Kado who offered the fee in exchange for work.

As with so many previous witnesses in this trial, the testimony from day to day can give entirely different perceptions – and all sides are cautioning – wait until all of the information has been presented.

"It's called a trial. It's usually two sides to every story. And it comes out this way when you have direct that goes in one direction, and cross that goes the other… We got a point of view the government has there's. So it's up for the jury to decide," said Thomas.

While Kado seemed to get tripped up on the timing of a lot of his allegations – he was adamant at times – saying he was extorted.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors will likely use text messages and testimony from federal agents to shore up the extortion allegations.


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