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Prosecution in Ex-Detroit Mayor Case Rests: Defense Starts Its Offense With a Whimper

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — After 4 1/2 months and about 80 witnesses, the prosecution in the federal trial of the ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick rested Thursday morning, opening the door for the defense to begin calling witnesses in what’s expected to take less than two weeks.

But things didn’t go so great for the defense on its first day on the offense.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, called to the stand forensic accountant Gary Leeman, an expert in non-profits, who appeared to be more of a help to the prosecution than the defense.

During cross examination, Leeman laughed when prosecutor Mike Bullotta asked if yoga lessons for Kilpatrick would have been a legit expense from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a non-profit fund created to help the community.

“I would highly doubt that that would be proper,” he said laughing a bit. “Not even close.”

It was obviously something Thomas would have preferred not to hear from his own witness.

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