Prosecutors: Kilpatrick insisted $75,000 go to wife`s for-profit

Prosecutors: Kilpatrick insisted $75,000 go to wife`s for-profit

Posted: Updated:
Donna Williams, the executive director of Vanguard Community Development Corporation, testified in court Thursday. (Credit: WJBK) Donna Williams, the executive director of Vanguard Community Development Corporation, testified in court Thursday. (Credit: WJBK)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

The focus was on the wife of Kwame Kilpatrick, Carlita, and thousands of dollars during Day 3 of the ex-Detroit mayor's corruption trial.

What we heard Thursday involved events that happened when Kilpatrick was the Democratic leader in the Michigan House. For starters, we should make it clear that Carlita Kilpatrick has not been charged with a crime, but her husband has been charged with plenty and prosecutors say the scheme involved funneling thousands of dollars of state money to his wife.

Vanguard Community Development Corporation has a simple motto. "We must stand for our community in order for our community to stand."

However, federal prosecutors say Kwame Kilpatrick had something else in mind when he steered $300,000 in state grant money to the Detroit non-profit. They say he insisted that $75,000 of the money go to U.N.I.T.E., a for-profit company being run by his wife.

Vanguard Executive Director Donna Williams testified that she found out over the phone.

"I didn't like the phone call," she said outside of court.

Williams said that when she met Carlita Kilpatrick it was for an introduction not an interview because in her mind the deal was already done.

Carlita Kilpatrick's contract was unlike other deals. Instead of billing for work as she did it, the future first lady billed Vanguard up front for $23,000 for materials and $52,000 for services for a total of $75,000.

Defense attorneys accused Williams of testifying against the former mayor because her sister is a federal prosecutor in the very unit battling Kilpatrick.

"We discussed these things long before my sister was in the Public Corruption Unit. I'm very proud of my sister. She surely doesn't need me to make a good reputation for herself," Williams told us.

Williams said she liked Carlita Kilpatrick even though she didn't earn the money she was paid.

"Mrs. Kilpatrick is a very intelligent woman. I enjoyed knowing her. Had we met under other circumstances in a different way, I could easily see her being somebody that we brought on board."

In the end, Carlita Kilpatrick only got a little more than half of the money she was expecting. Williams said that's because state officials didn't like how the money was being spent and that got Williams an earful from then state Representative Kilpatrick, who accused her of screwing up by telling some state officials that Vanguard's grant money had gone to his wife.

Jim Schaefer and I met Ms. Williams about four years ago when I was working for the Free Press and we were investigating some of the improprieties that we had found in the Kilpatrick administration in the wake of the text message scandal. Our stories at that time came into the court hearing on Thursday because there was a question over whether Williams had been completely up front and accurate in what she had said. My suspicion is that she didn't tell us the whole story back then because she had no idea where this thing was going to end up.

  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Detroit councilwoman wants transparency on tinted window issue

    Detroit councilwoman wants transparency on tinted window issue

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:12:02 GMT
    After months of trying to get Detroit City Council woman Mary Sheffield to call back, she finally reached out - but not to answer questions, to call Fox 2 out.
    After months of trying to get Detroit City Council woman Mary Sheffield to call back, she finally reached out - but not to answer questions, to call Fox 2 out.
  • Why do some Detroit council members have tinted front windows?

    Why do some Detroit council members have tinted front windows?

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:27:50 GMT
    A recent report from Fox 2's M.L. Elrick about Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield sparked some interesting response from viewers. Several of you raised the question via emailed or by commenting on social media as to why her front windows were tinted.
    A recent report from Fox 2's M.L. Elrick about Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield sparked some interesting response from viewers. Several of you raised the question via emailed or by commenting on social media as to why her front windows were tinted.
  • Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off 20th year

    Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off 20th year

    Friday, August 15 2014 10:44 PM EDT2014-08-16 02:44:42 GMT
    The 20th Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off Saturday showcasing thousands of classic cars.Fox 2's resident classic car enthusiast M. L. Elrick took to the streets with his 1962 Pontiac Tempest to experience the ride firsthand.
    The 20th Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off Saturday showcasing thousands of classic cars.Fox 2's resident classic car enthusiast M. L. Elrick took to the streets with his 1962 Pontiac Tempest to experience the ride firsthand.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
  • Minimum wage hike launches this Labor Day

    Minimum wage hike launches this Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 7:30 AM EDT2014-09-01 11:30:54 GMT
    Minimum wage workers across metro Detroit and the rest of the state are getting a small raise this Labor Day.
    Minimum wage workers across metro Detroit and the rest of the state are getting a small raise this Labor Day.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices