Kilpatrick Civic Fund cash went to resorts, prosecutors say

Kilpatrick Civic Fund cash went to resorts, prosecutors say

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DETROIT -- New York University's Tisch School of Arts.  Tennessee State University.  Go Tigers!  The luxurious Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, Colorado.  The exclusive La Costa Resort and Spa in sunny California.   All of these disparate places have one thing in common.  They got checks from Kwame Kilpatrick's civic fund, a nonprofit that was supposed to improve the lives of Detroiters.

IRS agent Ron Sauer testified Wednesday that the pay outs amounted to fraud, along with checks the civic fund wrote to yoga instructors and Kilpatrick's sister, Ayanna, who for reasons unknown to me, is known as "Bone".

Prosecutors showed jurors a series of text messages in which Christine Beatty asked the mayor whether a check for $2,000 could be written to "Bone" from the civic fund.  Kilpatrick answered yes.

Several days later, Ayanna Kilpatrick wrote, "I paged you (yesterday regarding) the transfer of the loot".

She wasn't the only one cashing in on the civic fund.  Kilpatrick's sister, Diarra, got $2,500 to help with tuition at NYU.  His cousin, Jamila Evans, got a grand to cover costs at Tennessee State.  His mistress, Beatty, got a dream spa weekend at the Sonnenalp Resort with the mayor, and Kilpatrick's wife and kids got a week at La Costa Resort and Spa in California complete with his and her pedicures.

Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas defended the checks to colleges, saying that one of the civic fund's goals was to support educational institutions.

Now Thomas was masterful in providing explanations for even some of the most inexplicable uses of the nonprofit's money, but he was at his best when he pointed out that $5,000 given to Kilpatrick's preschool was paid out the year after his sons had graduated.

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