Government plays wiretap of Bernard Kilpatrick saying he wants to 'run' contractor out of town

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Kilpatrick Corruption Trial is over for the day, but not before jurors heard more damaging wiretaps recorded during the City Hall Corruption case.

These wiretaps were played when FBI agent Robert Beckman was brought back to the stand towards the end of today's hearing. They pertained to a contract to remove debris from the Book Cadillac construction site.

Beckman testified that the owners of Capitol Waste, John Runko and John Francis, gave $222,000 to Bernard Kilpatrick as part of the project. The company provided dumpsters to the construction site.

During the first call played, which was placed on February 14, 2008, Francis could be heard complaining that one of Capitol Waste's competitors, Americal, was transporting debris from the construction site.

One of the contractors on the Book Cadillac at the time was Jim Jenkins. He is the one who hired Americal.

In a second recording about the issue Bernard Kilpatrick is heard asking if George Jackson of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation could "make trouble" for Jenkins. Bernard Kilpatrick is also heard saying, "I really would like to run him out of town," in referring to Jenkins.

In the final recording played today Bernard Kilpatrick is heard talking with Shakib Daria, an employee of Bobby Ferguson who worked on the Book Cadillac project. Bernard Kilpatrick can be heard saying his "boys" were hauling trash out of the Book Cadillac, but were cut out by Jenkins.

The tapes were played following a day that concentrated on Kwame Kilpatrick's income taxes and testimony from the former Detroit Mayor's accountant.

Gregory Terrell was first to take the stand Wednesday morning.

Terrell prepared Kilpatrick's tax returns from 2004-2007, when Kilpatrick claimed his basic mayoral salary, but no businesses income. This could be significant because the government is trying to prove that Kilpatrick received hundred of thousands of dollars that he never reported.

In the course of doing his taxes over the years, accountant and CPA Gregory Terrell testified he asked Kilpatrick if he had received cash in addition to what income was shown on W-2 or other forms from the city. That information, about any and all compensation Kilpatrick received in any given year, the accountant needed to accurately complete Kilpatrick's personal annual tax returns.

The accountant testified Kilpatrick told him no; that he did not receive cash from Carl Kado or Derrick Miller. Terrell also said Kilpatrick told him he received no money from a homeless shelter operator or from the owners/operators of Asian Village or from his friend Bobby Ferguson.

In previous testimony, the government introduced statements from Kado, Miller, Ferguson and others saying they gave cash to Kilpatrick. The government contends some of the money were kickbacks or bribe payments.

Not reporting income that could be taxable is against the law.

However, on cross examination Terrell admitted that some tax payers do leave out income information. 

Terrell said, "not maliciously, but it happens."

Terrell also said he had not had a discussion with Kilpatrick about "what defines income," or that gifts do no constitute income for tax purposes.

Beginning in 2001, Terrell testified he also was treasurer for the Kilpatrick election campaigns. He said Emma Bell was fund raiser for the campaigns but that Kilpatrick never told Terrell he received campaign fund cash from Bell.

Terrell or his firm also handled tax returns for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

Kilpatrick never told his accountant about receiving money for family vacations, golf or yoga lessons, or if he ever used money from the civic fund for personal uses.

Previous testimony from government witnesses indicate Kilpatrick used the Civic Fund "like a piggy bank," for a host of personal services and purchases.

Following Terrell's testimony the government called Anca Bucur to the stand. She is tax preparer for H&R Block in Southlake, Texas and worked with the Kilpatrick's to file their 2008 tax returns.

Bucur is an H&R Block master tax adviser with extensive training that allows her to testify as an expert witness in tax liability disputes.

Bucur testified that she went through an interview with Kilpatrick about all facets of his income and losses, as well as the tax forms and other questions that could affect his returns. She says such interviews are common with their customers.

During questioning the Assistant US Attorney asked if Kilpatrick presented any information about income from Covisent.

Bucur said there was "nothing from them."

She also said the his W-2 form from the city said Kilpatrick earned $127,256.

When asked, "Did he receive $90,000 cash from Bobby Ferguson ... cash from Emma Bell, commissions from a non-profit fund, or used funds from the Kilpatrick Civic fund?," Bucur said no.

The government also showed Bucur a list of what they say were cash deposits or contribution to Kilpatrick that occurred from 2002 to 2008 and totaled $546,000. For 2008, the

year Bucur helped prepare the Kilpatrick's taxes, the government list says Kilpatrick received $114,000, money that was not included in Kilpatrick's income tax claims for that year.

However, on cross examination by Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas, Bucur admitted she had no reason to doubt the information Kilpatrick gave about his income. She also said that there are times that loans or gifts from other people may not be considered taxable income,.

Print this article Back to Top