Is Kwame Kilpatrick using his civic fund as a piggy bank?
Chief Investigator Steve Wilson
11:10 AM, May 23, 2010
DETROIT (WXYZ) - - It's been called Kwame Kilpatrick's personal piggy bank and,
once again, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund was front and center in the
former mayor's latest restitution hearing. Chief Investigative
Reporter Steve Wilson gets answers from one of the fund's directors
who shelled out thousands of dollars that benefited the mayor.
Kwame Kilpatrick/Fmr. Detroit Mayor: I didn't
On the stand again Tuesday, the former mayor insisted the
Kilpatrick Civic Fund was not anything he controlled. According to
its articles of incorporation filed in 1999, the fund was
established to "contribute to the betterment of the lives of the
youth" of Detroit, and to "promote the importance of voting." But
as we first reported, the fund has been used to pay for a luxury
lifestyle for Kilpatrick and his family, including an expensive
week-long vacation at the La Costa Resort and Spa in California.
And even after Kilpatrick was ousted as mayor, prosecutors say the
practice continued, even against court order.
Robert Spada/Asst. Wayne County Prosecutor: So
after the court ordered you to turn over all money, then you paid
$15,000 for your moving expenses?
Kilpatrick stuck steadfastly to the story he started yesterday
about the Civic Fund and how the money found its way to his
Kwame Kilpatrick/Fmr. Detroit Mayor: Checks from
the Civic Fund were signed by April Edgar and Kandia Milton. It was
directed by the board.
Kilpatrick has claimed he doesn't know who's on the board, and
there is no public record file covering anything after 2007. His
sister, Ayanna, was once listed as president and board chairman.
And his former girlfriend, Christine Beatty, was treasurer until
Kandia Milton took that job. He is one of the mayor's best friends,
a former appointee who served as Detroit's mayor for a day when
Kilpatrick was once jailed.
And as for the other name on the recent checks, April Edgar
turns out to be Christine Beatty's sister, and is the fund's
secretary, she says.
April Edgar/Kilpatrick Civic Fund Secretary: Oh, I
did no approving.
Wilson: You did no approving?
Wilson: How many people are on the board now?
Edgar: You know what, I really can't remember
because it's been a while since I've even talked about the Civic
Fund so I really don't remember how many people were on the board,
to be honest with you.
Yes, she and Kandia Milton signed checks, but as for who
actually voted to bestow such goodness on the former mayor?
Wilson: Have you ever cast a vote?
Edgar: No, I don't remember casting a vote. All I
remember is being told here, you need to write a check for this or
write a check for that, and I did. My whole thing was just taking
over after Ms. Beatty left and I basically just took over as the
secretary of signing checks. I really don't even understand what
the Civic Fund is for, to be honest with you.
And what has Kilpatrick so tense? Knowledge that, in addition to
all his other troubles, the IRS is said to be seriously looking
into how he benefited from a fund set up to help the much less
fortunate. Remember the gangster Al Capone? In the end, he went to
prison on a tax rap.
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