Day 34: Witness who said Kilpatricks held him hostage admits to suffering memory loss

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Earlier today, 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones blogged all the news to come out of federal court.  Follow along with day 34 of trial:

12:50--The end: And that's all for Kado.  Thomas is done with Kado, as are the feds.  We're done for the day, and we'll see you tomorrow. 

12:45--Details, details: Thomas is going hard at Kado's memory, asking him about the date he gave Kilpatrick his first $10,000, and what kind of clothing the Mayor was wearing.  Kado says he doesn't remember.

"He met with you on a date you can't remember, dressed in clothes you can't remember, and you gave him $10,000," Thomas said.

Kado agreed.


"Mr. Kado, Mr. Kilpatrick never asked you for a specific amount of money, is that correct?" Kado asked.

Kado agreed.

12:41--The money: Now, Thomas is addressing the cash payments that Kado detailed yesterday where he said he gave the mayor between $5,000 and $10,000 on several occasions.  Kado says he got the money from his Cobo Hall store, Cobo Sundry. 

"Where did you meet with the Mayor to give him the money?" Thomas asked.

"Either at Cobo or his office," Kado said.

12:40--Mayor was his friend: Kado also acknowledges that he was, at least in the past, a friend of Kwame Kilpatrick's, inviting him to a party for one of his children who graduated from college. 

12:37--Asking for donations: Kado is being asked about donations he made to other Detroit political candidates, most of them on the City Council.  Kado said he didn't offer the money, he was asked for it. 

Kado acknowledges that the call from Kilpatrick was seeking money, but Thomas is suggesting it was simply a call for campaign money.  Not a bribe.

12:27--Difficulty remembering: In an April meeting with federal agents from this year, Kado told FBI agents that he sometimes forgot the day of the week or where he was going.  Could be trouble for the prosecution.

12:23--Kado's memory: Thomas suggested earlier that Karl Kado had suffered from dementia.

"Would you agree with me that as time goes on, your memory gets a little frail," Thomas asked.

"Go ahead. What else?" Kado said, implying Thomas should move on.

Kado did acknowledge telling federal agents that he was afraid he suffered from dementia. He said he talked to a physician about his concern, and had a test taken. After the meeting, Kado said he was no longer concerned about suffering from dementia. Thomas isn't saying if he passed the test, but if Kado now says he wasn't concerned about it anymore, perhaps we can assume he did. 

12:20--Kwame calls: Thomas is asking Kado about the call he talked about yesterday from Kwame Kilpatrick, months after he had been elected Mayor in 2001.  Kilpatrick called Kado on his personal cell phone.

"How'd the Mayor get your number," Thomas asked.

"Ask him," Kado responded.

Kado says the Mayor told him he needed some money, but didn't say how much he needed.  Days later, Kado says the Mayor's close aide Derrick Miller asked him for $10,000.

12:10--Jim Thomas up now: The ex-mayor's lawyer Jim Thomas is up cross-examining Kado now, asking about his many meetings with the FBI. He's pointing out that Kado did not agree to cooperate with the government after his first meeting with the feds. It took a few meetings before Kado decided to cooperate.

Sorry for the delay in blog posts.  Had to run outside to do a quick, rainy live shot for our 7 Action News at Noon viewers.

11:49--Threat or fact? Still on the witness stand, Kado says he was threatened by the mayor's dad when he was told that his fight with the city would go on for years in court, but hiring him to go after his money would result in a much speedier result. 

Kado says that came across to him as a threat, but Shea says his client was just stating a fact.  Here's what Kilpatrick told him, courtesy of the FBI's transcript of the conversation.

"This is, this, this wouldn't even be, it would be so far back on the table it would take you two years to go through lawyers to get your money man," Kilpatrick said to Kado.

11:22--Never got the money: If Bernard Kilpatrick really was Kado's consultant, apparently he wasn't a great one.  Kado was never paid the money Kilpatrick apparently was going after for him.  But this may help the defense, as John Shea points out.

"Obviously, he didn't have the juice you thought he might have," Shea said.

11:20--Directed by FBI: It's important to note here: all of the conversations we've heard so far (both telephone and in person) have been recorded by the FBI, who's been directing Kado to make the calls and what to say.  Remember, he was working with the government at this time.

11:18--Now, start work: A few months later, Kado calls Bernard and tells him to start work again, saying he needs to pay a huge tax bill and needs the money he's owed by the city.

"I thought you told me to leave it alone," Kilpatrick says. But agrees to help Kado out.

Later, Kilpatrick received another from Kado, saying a meeting arranged with him and a city official has been arranged, but it's too late.

Again, Kado says he'll step in and try to move the meeting up.

11:10--Stop work: Kado told Bernard Kilpatrick to stop doing work for him in his effort to get Kado paid money from the city.  Initially, Bernard Kilpatrick seems frustrated, saying he already did a lot of work for Kado, and now he's being told he won't be paid.  But the conversation--which again was recorded by Kado--seems to end cordially, according to the transcript we were just shown.

The defense's point: if you told him to stop doing work, that means you acknowledge that he was really doing work.

11:00--Bernard's middleman: Think Bernard Kilpatrick was the only middleman in this deal? Turns out he had his own: former NBA star Archie Clark, who Kilpatrick said made him aware of Kado's troubles getting paid.  In the recorded conversation, Bernard acknowledges having to pay money to Clark as a finder's fee.

10:58--Offered, not asked: We're seeing a transcript from a recorded conversation between Bernard Kilpatrick and Karl Kado, which Kado secretly recorded.  In it, Kado suggests that Bernard Kilpatrick be paid 10% of what he collects from the city for money that's owed to Kado.

Shea points out that the 10% was offered by Kado, not an amount that was asked for or demanded by Bernard Kilpatrick.

10:41--Defense so far: While the only score that counts is the one with the jury, I think it's safe to say that Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea has scored some points today.  He's shown that Bernard Kilpatrick did, indeed, do some work for Kado.  That's an important point, at least as it relates to the recorded conversation about the $160,000 payment Bernard was in line to receive.  It wasn't just money being handed over for nothing.

As for the other payments that Bernard and his son allegedly asked for from Kado?  Those haven't yet been addressed by Shea.  Stay tuned. 

10:25--Short break: Stay with us folks.  Court will resume shortly. 

10:19--Doing work: The defense is arguing here that Bernard Kilpatrick did plenty of work for Kado in helping him get paid money he was owed by the City of Detroit.

You'll recall yesterday that Kado offered to pay Kilpatrick $160,000 if he could get him paid the $1.6 million he was owed by the City.  Shea isn't running away from that, though. He's arguing that this wasn't extortion, it was a fee for chasing down Kado's money.

9:59--Another recording: Shea is playing a portion we haven't yet heard from a secretly recorded conversation between Kado and Bernard Kilpatrick.  It took place several years ago while Kwame Kilpatrick was still mayor.  Kado was wearing a wire for the FBI.

In the conversation, Kado can be heard saying he didn't want the Cobo electrical and cleaning contracts.

"You wanted out," Shea said.

"Yes," Kado said. 

9:53--Didn't tell FBI:  Remember that memorable moment from yesterday's testimony when Kado described being patted-down by Bernard Kilpatrick once he showed him a target letter from the U.S. Attorney? 

Shea is honing in on that testimony right now, and appears to have information that indicates Kado never told the FBI about the pat-down in his next meeting with them. 

Kado insists he did, but Shea says it was only months later when he told an IRS agent. 

They're agreeing to disagree, but Shea is implying that Kado is making up the story, and the fact that he didn't tell the FBI early on is proof. 

9:40--False tax returns: Shea is circling back to Kado's guilty plea to filing false tax returns for two years; essentially, he was "skimming cash."  That's when someone takes cash from their business, but only reports the lesser total to lessen their tax burden.   

9:35--Inconsistent totals: Shea points out that, through the years, Kado's recollection of how much he has paid Bernard Kilpatrick through the years has changed, from somewhere north of $100,000, to as much as $300,000.  Shea wants jurors to ask: if Kado's memory keeps changing, who's to say we can trust it?

9:24--Forced to hire: Kado says he was forced to partner with Derrick Miller's sister Ladarla Easley on a Cobo electrical contract, because her brother Derrick Miller (Kwame Kilpatrick's right hand man at the time) was "holding it up" otherwise.

"She wanted to take some money--extortion--every month," Kado said.

But Shea points out--or is trying to at least--that Kado hired Bernard Kilpatrick to keep Miller's sister off his back. Kado agrees, but isn't exactly helping Shea's case right now.

"I wanted to deal with one extortion, not two!" Kado barked.

9:17--Consultant, not crook: Not surprisingly, Shea is quickly trying to weave a narrative that Bernard Kilpatrick was assisting Karl Kado as a consultant (or "businessman") who could provide assistance navigating the political channels inside Cobo Hall.  But Kado resisted. 

"There's no assistance until there was a need for assistance," Kado said, implying he didn't need the mayor's father's help.

Later on, Shea suggested that Kilpatrick assisted Kado in pushing to keep Lou Pavledes as the Cobo Hall director. 

"He did provide you services," Shea said.

"For what?" Kado responded. 

9:08--Friends with Bernard: Kado acknowledges that he was initially friends with Bernard Kilpatrick, who was a frequent customer at his store in the Millender Center downtown. 

Initially, Kado denied ever extending a line of credit to Kilpatrick at this store, but after being shown a copy of his interview transcript with the FBI, he remembered that he did.

9:00--Day 34: Welcome back, folks.  Cobo businessman Karl Kado is on the stand for day two, and his cross-examination continues to day, with Bernard Kilpatrick's lawyer John Shea the first to question him today.  Shea began his cross-exam yesterday. 

Kado alleged that he was "held hostage" by Mayor Kwame Kilaptrick and his father Bernard, who demanded cash payments.  Kado said he felt obligated to make them, as he feared his lucrative contracts at Cobo Hall would be ended if he didn't keep the Kilpatricks happy.

Have a question or comment for Ross?  E-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @RossJones7.

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