Only 'FOKKers' were likely to receive money from the civic fund - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Only 'FOKKers' were likely to receive money from the civic fund

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WJBK Detroit -

Gentle Reader, based on what I've heard in court this week, you and I may be the only people in Detroit who did NOT get a check from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

And I'm not so sure about you.

Kilpatrick's father, sister, half-sister, his lover, his lover's half-sister, his childhood friend, and, as Drexel from "True Romance" might have put it, everyone from "Little Eye Joe to damned if I know" got a piece of the action.

Spas, ski resorts, water parks, yoga centers, universities, nursery schools and something called a Super Camp all got paid, too.

It was all very compelling testimony, even the parts Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas defused with plausible explanations. (Though at least one of the explanations -- that Kilpatrick and his then-lover and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty may have dropped in on a mayor's conference during a 2002 tryst in Denver -- does not hold up to scrutiny.

My pal and ol' Free Press partner Jim Schaefer and I reported in 2008 that the car the lovers rented with taxpayer money logged only 400 miles. Unless they bummed a ride from someone else, 400 miles is not enough to account for the 240-mile round trip from the Denver airport to Vail and even one 190-mile round trip from Vail to Denver.

Furthermore, my pal and occasional hockey teammate Mike Wilkinson of the Detroit News told me that the organization Thomas cited does not exist, and the outfit that does exist -- and that Kilpatrick was a part of -- did not meet in Denver until the next year.)  Still, I suspect it's what we haven't heard yet that will determine how much impact all of this will have on the jury.

And that's where all the hundreds of thousands of dollars that poured into the civic fund came from.

My bet is that prosecutors are going to trot out a parade of city contractors who will testify that they contributed because they feared losing city work. And Thomas will offer a two-pronged response: politics is a dirty business and the contributors are testifying to avoid being prosecuted themselves.

Which side will be the most persuasive is an open question.

But I think we already know the answer to the question of what Detroiters got out of the civic fund Kilpatrick established for the stated reason of improving the city: Not much -- unless you were a Friend of Kwame Kilpatrick.

In other words, a FOKKer.

Follow M.L. Elrick's coverage of the Kilpatrick & Co. trial daily on Fox 2 and at www.myfoxdetroit.com. Contact him at ml.elrick@foxtv.com or via Twitter (@elrick) or Facebook. And catch him every Friday morning around 7:15 a.m. on Drew & Mike on WRIF, 101.1 FM.

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