Lawyer In Ex-Detroit Mayor Public Corruption Case Blasts Judge, Accuses Her Of Helping Prosecution

Judge Nancy G. Edmunds and Attorney Mike Rataj
By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — In an unusual move, a lawyer in the trial of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick  very publicly ripped into the judge after court on Wednesday.

Mike Rataj, one of three attorneys for Kilpatrick’s co-defendant Bobby Ferguson, blasted U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds during an interview with the media, implying she’s biased and is doing everything to help prosecutors ask questions properly and get in hearsay evidence that should be barred.

“For her to prop the government lawyers up every time they can’t ask a question properly, for the hearsay, the double and triple hearsay that’s coming in, it puts us at a huge disadvantage in this case,” he remarked, according to a video shown on Fox2. “We’re all frustrated because this isn’t the way that it’s supposed to work. The person that makes the statement’s got to come in and testify to it so they can be crossed examined. That’s the bottom line.”

Rataj, a former college hockey player, who is sometimes referred to as a “pitbull”,  said the disadvantage in the case is like playing a 5 on 3 hockey game, with the defense obviously being the three. The former Marine is regarded as a passionate,  top-notch attorney who can be a little tempermental,  and is not shy about expressing critical opinions on various things, including media coverage of the trial.

Still, he expressed hope the defense can still win the case.

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