DETROIT — One thing the defense and prosecution in the Kwame Kilpatrick public corruption trial can agree on: Kilpatrick likes cash.
Where they differ is where it came from.
The prosecution says plenty came from illegal bribes and kickbacks while Kilpatrick was mayor from 2002 to 2008. The defense insists Kilpatrick got cash from generous birthday and wedding gifts, some during and some before he was mayor. None, the defense claims, came from illegal activity.
To help prove that point, Kilpatrick’s attorney Jim Thomas, on Friday, on the second day of presenting his defense, showed jurors Kilpatrick’s wedding invitation in 1995 which said “Cash gifts preferred.”
By day’s end, even if the cash was all gotten legitimately, Kilpatrick came off as looking greedy.
In fact, one defense witness, Kizzi Montgomery, a former Kilpatrick aide who now works for Mayor Dave Bing, said she felt obligated, like other people in the administration, to give cash donations for Kilpatrick on Christmas and his birthday. She said she eventually gave $100 each time, but department directors were encouraged to give $500, and cabinet level officials, $1,000. She said some employees complained.
“They were expected,” Montgomery said of the gifts.
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