Cobo contractor calls payments to Kilpatrick's father extortion - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Cobo contractor calls payments to Kilpatrick's father extortion

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Contractor Karl Kado testified Monday that Bernard Kilpatrick insisted on being paid for helping him get more than $3 million the city owed him.  Kado says he never got that money, but he did get the entire conversation on a wire he wore for the FBI.

Kado and Bernard Kilpatrick started out as friends, but that all changed after Kilpatrick's son was elected mayor.  A few months after taking office, Kwame Kilpatrick called with a message: Karl, we need $10,000.

Over the next five years, Kado says he gave Bernard Kilpatrick and his son hundreds of thousands of dollars -- all to keep the mayor and his minions from messing with his contracts at Cobo Hall.  Kado's testimony was all a far cry from what jurors had been told to expect three months ago.

Defense attorneys had said Kado was suffering from dementia, but there was nothing foggy about his recall.

Other government witnesses have testified that Bernard Kilpatrick provided some services for the thousands he was paid.  Kado is the first to call the payments flat out extortion.

Prosecutor Michael Bullotta asked, "Why did you begin paying Bernard Kilpatrick?"

Kado answered, "He's the mayor's father."

Bullotta then asked, "Did you pay him as a consultant?"

Kado responded, "Consultant?  Consultant for what?"

Kado pleaded guilty to tax fraud charges stemming from his payments to the Kilpatricks.  He will not do any time, in part because he is cooperating, but the native of Iraq says he is cooperating because he got sick of the Kilpatricks' shake downs.

Discussing one payment to Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller, Bullotta asked, "Why not give him a check?"

Kado answered, "I am like hostage there.  It's like hostage in Iraq.  If you pay, you get them out.  I am like hostage in Cobo."

Kado also provided free office space to Bernard Kilpatrick in a downtown building and leased another building to the city for its Department of Administrative Hearings.  Kado says the city owes him about a million dollars for renovations that he made there.

Jurors also heard Kado and Kilpatrick discussing money the city still owes Kado on a wire he wore for the feds.  The recording played in court was fuzzy, but clear enough to hear the elder Kilpatrick say, "I gotta get something out of this."

John Shea, one of Bernard Kilpatrick's attorneys, says there is more to Kado's story.

"Wait for the cross examination," he tells reporters.

One of the things Shea is sure to bring up is Kado's past.  I was in court a few years ago when Kado received a slap on the wrist from the judge in his case.  It's far too early to tell what will happen in this case, but if the jury returns guilty verdicts, there's no doubt in my mind the judge in this case won't blow kisses to the defendants like Kado's judge did.

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