Feds unveil new recordings, defense fires back painting key witness as liar

DETROIT (WXYZ) - What a difference a day makes… after some stunning testimony from a key government witness in the Kilpatrick Corruption Case, the defense is now painting him as a liar.

The feds played more videos of James Rosendall Friday, this time showing him handing Bernard Kilpatrick $2500 in cash.  But during the cross examination, the defense used the government's own wiretaps against them to say that the money wasn't a bribe – it was payment for work done on the Synagro deal.

James Rosendall went from solid government witness describing a pay-to-play atmosphere in Detroit on Thursday..  to an admitted liar, working his own deals on Friday.

The former Synagro Technologies VP had testified in the Kilpatrick Corruption trial that he paid off Bernard Kilpatrick to keep him from killing the $1.1 Billion sludge hauling contract.

Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, and his friend Bobby Ferguson are on trial, accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall.

Yesterday Rosendall told the jury that the former mayor directed him to work with his dad as a consultant on the Synagro deal… and then Bernard Kilpatrick later brought in Rayford Jackson as a city council liaison.  Rosendall said the two were in line to make nearly $8 million over the 25 year deal.

Today, Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea revealed to the jury that Rosendall too was set to make millions – both for closing the Synagro deal with Detroit, and because he owned the land where Synagro was going to build its new facility.

"There's always two sides to every story, and you got part of the second side today, we're not done.  We've got a little bit more to do," said Shea.

While Bernard Kilpatrick does say during FBI-recorded conversations when he's upset with Rosendall that he's going to mess with Synagro's permits and that he would "blow the house up," meaning kill the deal with his son.. Shea pointed out that was sparked by a behind the scenes double cross that was taking place.

Shea played the government's own wiretaps, and showed Rosendall lying over and over and over again – including lies to Bernard Kilpatrick about his payment arrangement with Jackson and lies to his boss at Synagro.

Shea walked the jury through several receipts for lunch meetings – and text messages that showed Bernard Kilpatrick trying to set up meetings for Rosendall – proof, Shea says, that his client was working to get the deal approved.

Federal prosecutors allege by the time Rosendall was wearing a wire for the FBI in 2008, he gave Bernard Kilpatrick $5,000 ($2500 in cash on two different occasions). Friday Shea showed an invoice that Kilpatrick's business partner had sent Synagro – at Rosendall's request… and said the $5,000 wasn't a bribe, it was payment Rosendall had promised as part of the consulting work.

During all of the videos and wire taps, Bernard Kilpatrick looked at times amused, and at other times stoic, as he waited for his lawyer to give his version of the events.

"Bernard is a remarkable guy.  He is the most even tempered client I've ever represented," said Shea.

The wiretaps also showed James Rosendall telling his boss at Synagro that Kwame Kilpatrick didn't have anything to do with the payment dispute between Bernard Kilpatrick and Rayford Jackson.

Jackson can also be heard on tape telling Rosendall that Bernard doesn't have any ability to keep his son from approving the Synagro contract.

Shea will continue cross-examining Rosendall on Tuesday, and then federal prosecutors will likely have more questions for Rosendall.

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