BLOG: Bernard Kilpatrick said he could "stop" billion-dollar city deal, secret recording reveals

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Follow along with the very latest in the Kilpatrick corruption trial as 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones blogs from federal court:

12:00--That's all: Court's over early today (this was pre-planned).  See you all Monday. 

11:52--Explanation: John Shea is offering perhaps his best argument for the cash payments made to his client. Olumba invoiced Rosendall for $5,000, which he was slow to pay.  On videotape, we saw Rosendall pay Kilpatrick $5,000 over two payments.  Shea argues that these payments were made to fulfill the Olumba invoice. 

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

11:47--In a nutshell: Shea's points here are that Rosendall is a shifty fellow, caught lying to his bosses and Kilpatrick.  

11:40--Whoa there: You can't make this up.  In one of the wiretaps, it sounds like Bernard Kilpatrick or Rosendall can be heard flushing the toilet.  I hope their mothers aren't reading the blog today. 

11:33--Not involved: When asked by his boss if Kwame Kilpatrick would step in on this mess, Rosendall responds: "He's not involved."

As expected, Shea pounced on that.  Rosendall says that he was only saying that Kilpatrick wasn't involved "in this segment." 

11:28--Tell Rayford:  Rosendall's boss at Synagro says that Jackson needs to be told: "You need to remember how we got hooked up and how we got this job," she says.  

11:18--Lying: More wiretaps show Rosendall lying over the phone.  This time, he's not being honest with his Synagro boss.  He tells her about a fictitious meeting he had with Kilpatrick's former girlfriend Akunna Olumba, where she's upset that she hasn't yet been cut-in on the Synagro deal.

Also, Rosendall tells his boss that he was surprised to learn that Rayford Jackson was already getting paid by Synagro.  Shea is trying to show the jury that Rosendall will lie if it will help him. 

11:05--Story changing: We just heard a wiretap where Rosendall says he wants to meet Kilpatrick in a parking lot.  Earlier, he had implied that it was Kilpatrick who wanted to meet in the parking lot because he was afraid of being bugged.  But under questioning from Shea, Rosendall says that it was, in fact, he who suggested the parking lot.

Shea is trying to show that Rosendall isn't being consistent or (even worse) honest. 

10:50--We're back: Shea is still questioning Rosendall. Right now, we're hearing a wiretapped conversation between Rosendall and Bernard Kilpatrick, where Rosendall apparently lies to the ex-mayor's dad.  He appears to be stringing along Kilpatrick, as he told Jackson he would, by saying that he was told his plan to write a new deal to include Olumba can't happen yet.  

The two also talk about payments they've learned Jackson has been receiving $230,000 from Synagro. 

"Ray has out-slicked everybody, it looks like," Kilpatrick says.  

But, says Shea, Rosendall wasn't being honest with Kilpatrick and hadn't told him that the two had schemed earlier in the day.  

10:30--Break time: Stay with us. 

10:20--String him along:  Shea played a wiretap between Rosendall and Rayford Jackson, the other consultant he was working with on the Synagro deal. Jackson wasn't eager about Kilpatrick's plan to bring Olumba in on the deal. 

"I'll just play that thing out and string it along, that's what I'll do," Rosendall said. 

10:12--Adding Akunna: Shea says that Akunna Olumba joined the contract in the Summer of 2007 to help solicit minority partnernships in the Synagro deal and "to protect Bernard Kilpatrick's interest with Rayford Jackson, to have the money flow through Olumba." 

Olumba was Bernard Kilpatrick's one-time girlfriend. 

10:10--Business meals: Shea is showing Rosendall some receipts for business-related meals that he had for the Synagro deal.  Kilpatrick was in on all of the meals. 

We're seeing a $10.23 bill for lunch at Sinbad's in Detroit.  Just a couple cups of soups and non-alcoholic drinks.  "BK" and "JR" is written at the top, referencing Bernard and James Rosendall.  

Actually, we're seeing a lot of receipts.  Nothing remarkable so far.  Some of the meals include: a $54 lunch at Andiamo's, which covered Rosendall,  Bernard Kilpatrick and Rayford Jackson, and a $138 meal that covered Kilpatrick, Jackson, Tardif, Jim Sype and Rosendall.  There are probably at least a dozen receipts. 

The point here seems to be that if they were having so many business lunches, Bernard Kilpatrick must have been doing some actual work on the deals. 

9:57--Synagro concerned: Rosendall says that Synagro was concerned by Bernard Kilpatrick's involvement in the deal and was concerned that, if it came out that the mayor's dad profited, it could put a dark cloud over the contract and have have it ultimately scuttled. 

9:55--Texts: We're seeing a 2004 text exchange between Kilpatrick political aide Make Tardif and Bernard Kilpatrick. 

Tardif: Cool, hey jr was wondering if you could set up a meeting with victor early next week...

Bernard: I am working on that now.

Tardif: let me know if I can help

Bernard: Will do 

Tardif's "jr" reference meant James Rosendall, a nickname he had developed. "Victor" was water department chief Victor Mercado. 

9:50--Timing: Shea says that Bernard Kilpatrick didn't tell Rosendall to hire consultant Rayford Jackson until 7 months after he started working with him.  He showed Rosendall a copy of his interview with the FBI which appears to confirm it, but Rosendall says he still doesn't remember that.  

Shea suggests that, because it wasn't seven months until Jackson started working with him, that Bernard Kilpatrick must have done some work for him during that time. 

9:44--Friendly help: Shea is asking Rosendall about the help his company needed to get this deal done in Detroit. 

"Would you agree that it would be helpful having local people assist you who are familiar with those political landscapes?" Shea asked. 

9:31--More money: Rosendall owned land that Synagro considered buying for the Detroit deal that could have yielded him $1 million, he says. 

Rosendall says that the Synagro deal made sense not only for the company, but for the city, too.  

9:28--Payday: Rosendall says he would have made "a couple million dollars" on the Synagro deal over the length of the 25-year contract, had it not been later canceled. 

9:24--Shea up: Bernad Kilpatrick's attorney John Shea is up now to cross-examine Rosendall and, for his client's sake, I hope he got a nice night's rest.  

9:22--Plea deal: As he finished up his questioning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked Rosendall about the time he served for orchestrating this bribe scheme (Rosendall is out of prison now).  He also said, interestingly enough, that he helped the feds in other corruption investigations beyond the Monica Conyers case. Hmm...

9:12--Another video: We're watching another undercover video from later on in the same day Bernard Kilpatrick allegedly asked Rosendall for $5,000.  We can see Rosendall walking into Kilpatrick's apartment on the Riverfront, handing him $2,500.

"Is that twenty-five?" asks Bernard Kilpatrick.

Rosendall confirms that it is.

"All these guys like...people like Adolph, people like Hunt, the one guy that made all that happen after Victor (Mercado) and all those guys said no," Bernard Kilpatrick said, pointing to himself.

Adolph and Hunt were references to other consultants in Detroit. 

Moments later in the recording, Rosendall references an earlier threat he said Kilpatrick had made to kill the Synagro deal unless he was paid. Bernard Kilpatrick appears to confirm that he threatened to stop or delay the deal.

"I was, I was pissed, I said shit, I could uh, cool as me and this guy is, I could have him, you know, not blow it up, but I could have, you know, do what you can to stop it for a year, stop it for two years," he said.

"Him," Rosendall said, was a reference to Kwame Kilpatrick.  He said if he really did stop the contract for a year or two, it would end in a huge financial loss for Synagro. 

9:06--Request for cash: When Rosendall says Bernard Kilpatrick asked for $5,000 in cash, Rosendall says he went to the bank himself and got the money. Rosendall, who was working with the FBI at the time, said he didn't want to wait for the feds to collect the cash, fearing they would take too long. 

Rosendall collected $2,500.  

9:05--Plea withdrawn: Yesterday, it was revealed that Kilpatrick and his wife Carlita had sent letters seeking donations to help their sons attend a private school. Today, Kilpatrick announced that he and his wife decided recently to change their mind.  

9:00--Welcome back:  It's the 57th day of testimony, and former Synagro vice-president James Rosendall is waiting to continue his testimony from the witness box.

If you missed what happened yesterday, here's a nice recap.

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