Poor Ex-Detroit Mayor, He Had Too Much Cash: Friends Says he Passed on $90,000 to Him

Kwame Kilpatrick (far right) leaves courthouse/deadline detroit
By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Poor Kwame Kilpatrick.

He’s got a cash problem.

No, not a shortage. Too much.

On Monday, the feds produced bank statements showing that he deposited about $531,000 in cash — beyond his paychecks — while he was mayor from 2002 to 2008. He also used $280,000 in cash to pay off credit card debt.

On Tuesday,  on the third day of trial in federal court in his public corruption probe, the prosecution delivered more damaging testimony about cash. The feds claim all his cash could only have come his way illegally, arguing that there was no other obvious explanation.

Mahlon Clift, a close friend from college who considered the ex-mayor a “brother”, testified today that he came to Detroit from Chicago in 2008 to support Kilpatrick, who was having problems as mayor and at home.

While staying at the Atheneum hotel in Greektown, Clift, a jeweler, said he got a call from contractor Bobby Ferguson, who was a friend and a close friend of Kilpatrick.

Ferguson came to the room and handed him a shopping bag with $90,000 and said for him to hold it for “Black.” Clift testified that he understood the cash was for Kilpatrick, who Ferguson sometimes called “Black.” He said there were in nine stacks of $10,000, each with $100 and $50 bills.

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