Day 40: Defense grills EPA agent as Kilpatrick trial stretches on

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Earlier today, 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones blogged all the news to come out of day 40 of the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial. Follow along below:

1:00--The end: That's all for today folks.  We'll see you all tomorrow morning at 9AM.

12:55--No one else: Paskiewicz said she never saw any other text messages between the Mayor and contractors (other than Ferguson) discussing city bids.

12:52--Helping minorities?  Defense lawyers argued that Bobby Ferguson was helping minority firms by hiring them as subcontractors.  However, Chutkow just showed the jury a slew of invoices from subcontractors that were neither minorities, nor based in Detroit.

At least one of them has pleaded guilty in Bobby Ferguson's prior bid-rigging case.

12:46--Prosecution up: Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow is up now, asking Paskiewicz if her investigation revealed that the Mayor's father Bernard Kilpatrick ever met after hours with Bobby Ferguson.  Paskiewicz says that they did.

12:33--Van Dusen: For those of you wondering about Ferguson defense attorney Susan Van Dusen--who took a nasty fall on Monday and has been out of court recovering ever since--we just heard from defense lawyer Gerald Evelyn that she is suffering from headaches (though less frequently than before), and is expected to see a neurologist soon.

Here's to wishing her well.

12:21--Yesterday's testimony: Rataj is trying to point out a contradiction in Packiewicz's testimony from yesterday. But it looks like the judge wants to talk to lawyers first, as they're all huddled with her at sidebar.

12:20--Still on stand: Paskiewicz is still testifying, under cross-examination from Ferguson lawyer Mike Rataj.

Sorry for the delay in blog posts. Had to run outside to update our 7 Action News at Noon viewers with a quit live shot.

11:30--No, I'm not dead: I haven't posted anything to the blog in a while because, well, there hasn't been a lot to say.  The defense is pretty deep into the minutia of a lot of the evidence we've already gone over and, well, my media colleagues and I are coming up dry in our search for a headline.

10:43--Break time: And we're taking a 20-minute break. 

10:40--Bobby worked: You'll remember yesterday we learned that Bobby Ferguson made $3.1 million on work his company performed on a Detroit sinkhole.  Now, Rataj is showing the jury invoices that Ferguson paid to other companies for work he subcontracted out. Presumably, this is to show that Ferguson was having work performed onsite. 

10:21--McCann: Rataj is asking Paskiewicz whether Kathleen McCann, the former Soave Enterprises vice-president, pulled the strings at the company or was more or less an intermediary. Paskiewicz said that McCann took orders from Soave.

10:10--Shea's done: That's all from Bernard  Kilpatrick's lawyer.  Now up is Bobby Ferguson's attorney Mike Rataj.

10:04--Thomas done: Looks like Thomas got the message.  He just wrapped up his questioning of Paskiewicz, and Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea is up now.  He's asking Paskiewicz about a text message we saw yesterday regarding the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department evaluation committee.

Bernard Kilpatrick: THE REAL PROBLEM WITH DWSD IS THE EVALUATION COMMITTEE.  WARREN HAS SOME IDEAS HOW You CAN PROCEED.  CN WE MEET WTH HIM TOMORROW EVENING?

Kwame Kilpatrick: I will meet with him and Victor Mercado.  I'm n Ot just mtg with him.

Warren, says Paskiewicz, is Warren Evans, who served on the DWSD water board.  I'm including the typos in the texts so you can see exactly how they were written.

10:01--Move along:  It seems Judge Nancy Edmunds has had enough with this line of questioning from Jim Thomas.

"A lot of these questions have been asked and answered.  Please move forward," Edmunds said.

"Let's move to things you haven't already asked."

9:48--Mayor refuses: We're seeing an e-mail from one of Inland Waters' other subcontractors from 2005, discussing how their contract isn't going anywhere.  Even though it was approved by the Water and Sewer Board, "the Mayor has refused to sign it because there has not been a resolution between Inland Waters and (Ferguson Enterprises)," wrote the employee.

This doesn't appear to be new information, though.  It's already been established that this contract didn't go anywhere for a while.  The why is what's being debated.

9:37--Testimony so far: Thomas is asking the same line of questions that we heard yesterday.  Essentially, he's going over the chain of events that took place over the awarding of contract 1368, the $50 million Inland Waters contract.  Officials with Soave Enterprises (who own Inland) said they were forced to hire Bobby Ferguson.

9:24--Finally underway: Blame the exceptionally long lines outside for the routinely late starts we've been having here at federal court. But we're finally going now, with Paskiewicz under cross-examination by Kilpatrick lawyer Jim Thomas.

9:13--Bobby's missing: We're delayed again here in Judge Nancy Edmunds' courtroom, as Bobby Ferguson and his defense team seem to be missing from court.  All other parties appear to be present. 

9:08--Twitter talk: The former Mayor took to Twitter yesterday following his other court hearing yesterday (he had to go to Wayne County Circuit Court after testimony wrapped up in federal court).  Kilpatrick was there to set a hearing date to testify about his book proceeds.

You'll recall that a higher court recently ruled that Kilpatrick needs to testify over where the proceeds of his book are going, and whether he's hiding any money that could be going to pay off the restitution he owes the City of Detroit.

Kilpatrick tweeted: "All that fuss for absolutely nothing! Wow!"

9:00--New chapter: We expect that the feds will begin a new chapter at some point today (after Paskiewicz is finished testifying).  As my colleague Heather Catallo first reported yesterday, the government has leveled new allegations that were not part of its original indictment.

In a RICO case, federal prosecutors can add what are called "overt acts" to the case that contribute to the allegations of racketeering  The new chapter the feds are about to enter focuses on the construction of a recreation center in Detroit.

8:55--Welcome back: Here we are at day 40 of trial, with EPA Agent Carol Paskiewicz still on the stand under cross-examination by the defense.  Yesterday, we saw new texts between Bobby Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick that the prosecution alleged showed the two were improperly scheming about city work that Ferguson wanted (and ultimately got) a piece of. 

The defense countered, though, saying the texts were taken out of context.  Plus, they argued, they were so wrought with typos, grammatical errors and even punctuation that their meaning was impossible to decipher.

Have a question or comment for Ross?  E-mail him at rjones@wxyz.com.  You can also follow him on Twitter @RossJones7 or like him on Facebook.

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