Feds focus on Kwame's cash in Kilpatrick corruption trial

Feds focus on Kwame's cash in Kilpatrick corruption trial

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

At the Kilpatrick corruption trial Thursday the testimony was all about cash.  Kwame's cash, how much he got and how much he is accused of hiding.

Kwame Kilpatrick couldn't balance the city's budget running deficits every year, but he worked magic with his own money.  Even after taking a 10 percent pay cut, he lived like royalty.

"It's good to be the king!"  That is what Mel Brooks said when he played French King Louie the 16th.  Kilpatrick was once king of Detroit.  In this former French city, being king meant getting cash -- a whole lot of cash.

The feds scoured Kilpatrick's accounts, and determined that during his six years as mayor, his spending exceeded his income by $840,000.

Kilpatrick's attorney said the mayor had a 36th birthday party at The Atheneum that was called "A Splash of Red", but based on the testimony they should've called it "A Splash of Green".

Attorney Jim Thomas says Kilpatrick had lots of ways to get dough that the feds did not even consider when they testified that Kilpatrick deposited $531,000 in addition to his mayoral paychecks.  For example, Thomas said guests at Kilpatrick's "Splash of Red" birthday celebration gave him money.  He estimated that 200 guests at $50 a pop added up to $100,000.  But that only ads up to $10,000, and getting $531,000, well, that would take a whole lot of people.

If the average gift was $10, 53,100 people would have to attend Kilpatrick's birthday party to account for the $531,000.

At $20 a head, they would need more than 20,000 guests.

And if the average gift was $50, they would need more than 10,000 well wishers.

That is a helluva lot more people than Thomas estimated and way more than would ever fit even in The Atheneum.  Still, there is no question when Kilpatrick partied, people paid.

It is worth remembering that things did not work out so well for King Louie.  He lost his head.  Whether the king of Detroit loses his freedom will be up to the jury.

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