Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 39 - FOX 35 News Orlando

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 39

Detroit (MyFoxDetroit) -

So, after a day of detailed, tedious, in depth cross examination by the defense, the last 10 minutes becomes the story.  Which M.L. Elrick will have at 5 and 6pm on Fox 2 News tonight! 


Chutkow asks if she's seen any other text messages where Kwame talked with a city contractor about "moving in" on city business,  No.

Chutkow finishes, Thomas asks, incredulously, if Paszkiewicz could possibly believe that text messages are the sole means of communication for Kwame.  She says of course not.  That's his only question.

And the judge asks if there's anyone else.  She gets a "yeah" from some where and says okay we'll pick it up in the morning.


RAtaj now showing Judge Feikens order in response to Mayor's Letter.  Feikens is approving contract WS-623.  Paszkiewicz reads expression of support by suburban leaders... Rataj asks if it was Feikens decision to approve the change orders.  Paszkiewicz correct.

Paszkiewicz reads some more from  the document and Rataj is done.  If you're confused I apologize, I'm confused too.

Chutkow on redirect, asks if Judge Feikens was just doing what Kwame asked him to do.  Yes.

Paszkiewicz says this change order was for 3 million and would fund work at 5 treatment plants and belle Isle so Mercado decided to put the work under D'Agostini's contract and pass it through to a company that was associated with FErguson.

Ahh, all becomes clear now.

Chutkow now back on text messages now.  ASks about being quizzed about twice a month meetings.  Asks if she got evidence of this from emails and texts, and that Derrick MIller joined Kwame Bernard and Bobby in after hours meetings.  Yes.

Showing a text from Bernard

Bernard:No problem I was just thinking short term on stuff that's already out there he has met with Mercado ND feels he is on the right track but it will take time which I do not posses a whole lot of.

ASks if Bernard was a member of the DWSD or the administration.  No.

Asks about Bobby subbing out work on 1368.  ASks if restoration work is less complicated. Yes.

Showing first invoice, Ferguson subbing work to R and R Heavy Haulers.  ASks if this is a minority base business.  No.

Looks like Bobby hired a bunch of white guys from the 'blurbs. 

Chutkow shows another contractor, not a minority, not in the city.  And yet another.

Chutkow now showing an invoice for 15 nil road paving on the sinkhole project, and the pavers are from Waterford.  Paszkiewicz agrees that's not from Detroit.

Chutkow now asks if Kwame was communicating with other city contractors in text messages about releasing contracts.  Did he talk to other contractors about holding up contracts. No.

Rataj objects.  Judge says you asked a lot of questions about contact with contractors and who was talking to who, so she's allowing the questions.


BAck after the sidebar and a break.  Chutkow is telling the judge the he feels the Jury was left with a misleading impression by Rataj and she should instruct them on that.  Judge agrees to make it an on the record ruling.  Judge Edmunds agrees,a and the jury is brought back.

STarts with New on Susan Van Dusen, says she won't be here tomorrow.  Second, about using the transcript to impeach the witness she determined during the break that it is not proper and they'll be moving on.

Rataj puts up a document showing... sorry, he's whipping the document around under the projector and I didn't catch the title.   Okay, it's ac construction contract change order in the amount of$33 million, with a change amount of 3.9 million.  Says Judge Feikens ordered it. True.  ASks if it's not true that Ferguson isn't mentioned anywhere in the document.

Paszkiewicz says she would have to look at the document.  She thumbing through it now.


Rataj is back on the list of 5 contracts again.  Runs through the list, then moves on to another document.  The list we're talking about was introduced by the prosecution and they talked about how Bobby got paid on 4 of the 5 contracts.  The prosecution only entered a portion of this documents into evidence and Rataj now putting the whole document into evidence.

Rataj is now grilling Paszkiewicz on her previous testimony about contract DWS 812.  They called up a transcript of the testimony and now they're arguing if it's relevant to what Rataj is asking.  They've been wrangling about this for several minutes now and the Judge says "I guess you better show it to me."  Sidebar


Had a brief connection problem for a few minutes but we're back.  Prosecutor Mark Chutkow entered several objections During Mike Rataj's  questioning and the judge dragged them all up to the bench for a sidebar.  They came back and Rataj started asking if Paszkiewicz could tell the court what Bernard and Kwame or Kwame and other talked about during various conversations.  Paszkiewicz says she does know.  Rataj says you weren't there you don't know. Paszkiewicz says she interviewed witnesses.  Chutkow objects. the Judge sustains, Rataj moves on.

This whole section of questioning hinges on hearsay arguments.  Paszkiewicz talked to people who told her what these conversations were about, but she can't say what they said in court because it's hearsay

He's showing a list 5 contracts now and pointing to WS-623 and asks if this was awarded to FEI during the ARcher Administration. Paszkiewicz says correct. Rataj is asking Paszkiewicz to read the change order justification that says there are still some issues, it adds $7 million to the contract, It's signed by Mercado and approved by the water board.

Rataj asks if he can digress and talk about the board of water commissioners.  asks if it's a 7 member board and made up of 4 people from the city and one each from Wayne Oakland and Macomb counties. Paszkiewicz says that sounds about right.



Rataj puts up document outlining the contract amendments for the sinkhole and the 1368 sewer lining documents. Paszkiewicz says there was some ambiguity in the documentation and some money would have gone to extending current contract.

Rataj asks if in July 27 of 2005 the third amendment hadn't yet been approved by council. Paszkiewicz says that's what it looks like.

Rataj introduces a letter from Oszust at Inland to Marian Dixon at City's contracts and grants department.  This are the bonds and insurance verifications a contractor has to send to the city to continue the approval process. Paszkiewicz says that what this seems like.  Amendment number 4 bonds and insurance.

Another new document, payment records from Inland submitted to DWSD, that Paszkiewicz looked at during break.

Rataj asks if this comes from the City of Detroit. Paszkiewicz says she doesn't recognize it, doesn't know one way or another.

It references contract 1368, Paszkiewicz says she doesn't recognize the document.

Rataj asks if the numbers add up to the amount Inland submitted on it's first invoice. She agrees.

Now showing the part that lists all the Inland invoices  submitted to the city.  Chutkow objects, says Paszkiewicz isn't familiar with the document and there's now foundation for asking her questions.  Judge Edmunds agrees.

Rataj asks if she heard Mr. Edwards say you can't get paid if the work is not done.  Yes.

Rataj goes back to the document and Paszkiewicz says she just doesn't know what the document refers to.  Rataj asks if this document shows that work never stopped.  Paszkiewicz says she can't answer based on this document but could better answer the question if Rataj showed her the documents she was familiar with and had reviewed previously.


RAtaj puts up and email from McCann talking about the contract that was held up.  It says "checked with everyone but Victor to see if Amendment was signed and they are waiting for executive approval."  Rataj asks if it looks like no one ever talked to Victor. 

Paszkiewicz says wait, I remember seeing an email saying don't do any work on that contract.  Rataj asks but there's a difference between a contract being held up and a contract waiting for approval. Paszkiewicz says yes.


THat's done, now we get to seem the documents he introduced.  Rataj asks if Ferguson started working, performing work, prior to the contract signing.  Paszkiewicz says she doesn't know that.

Rataj shows an invoice worksheet from Inland.  Paszkiewicz says she's not sure if the document came from Inland or another source.  Rataj asks if she sees date of Aug 2 2002.  She does.

Rataj asks about the first time Inland tried to send in a bill on 1368 the inland sewer lining contract which was denied because Council hadn't signed off on the contract.  Paszkiewicz remembers.

Rataj points to Ferguson enterprises line showing work he did.  Paszkiewicz says yes it looks like he started doing work before the contract was signed.

Rataj doing same thing now with Sinkhole invoices.  Paszkiewicz agrees says the document shows he started work but that's not what her testimony was based on.

Rataj puts up list showing employees and equipment that was attached to the invoice. Paszkiewicz agrees documents like this are usually part of the invoice documentation process.


Rataj says he's moving into a different area very quickly.  when the FBi started working on the sewer lining contract and the sinkhole.  He's going to move in more several more documents. 


We're back, the jury is filing in and Rataj is back in the Saddle.  Paszkiewicz is back on the witness stand.


Rataj is asking now about restoration contracts, (putting the stuff above ground back in order after the sewers are dug up.)  asks if she knows that Ferguson worked with Hardiman's son Johnny, asks if she knows there was a lawsuit.  Chutkow objects, says it's irrelevant.  They have another conversation with the Judge about keeping things moving.  RAtaj continues.  I don't want to give Rataj short shrift here but the content of the last ten minutes was pretty mundane.

Rataj now introducing new evidence. Judge asks how many more documents Rataj wants to enter he says two more.  Judge says let's enter them and take a break.

These are purchase orders for sewer restoration work.

"All rise for the jury" and we're on break.

This was weird, RAtaj stopped to talk to Thomas at the podium and told him, "the crowd noise must have been too loud, you didn't hear the call from the sidelines."  Rataj asked him to go out in go out in the hall to talk.  Don't know what the call is but I'd like to be a fly on the wall of the Hallway right now.


Judge Edmunds has been encouraging the defense team to keep moving and is beginning to sound a little frustrated.  She admonished THomas several times,  told the always and brief and to the point Shea to move on.  Now she's interrupted Rataj for a side-bar.  Most of Thomas' lines of questioning ended in objections without really getting to a point.  At least if he made one it was lost on me.  Shea was brief but his line of questioning was cryptic, asking about kwame's signature on a contract.

What they're arguing about now is whether Paszkiewicz can answer questions based on what she heard from the witnesses she interviewed.  Chutkow says the defense is trying to unfairly characterize her testimony as faulty because she knows what she knows front he interviews and may not have a document to show in court.  Judge Edmunds tells Paszkiewicz not to volunteer hearsay but to answer the question.


Shea says so now we have a water board commissioner asking for a meeting with mayor but the mayor says we'll have a meeting without you. Paszkiewicz says all but the last part is correct, says they agreed to a meeting just not with the Mayor alone.  Shea is done.

bobbies attorney Mike Rataj is up, says Ma'am I just have a few questions as well.

asking about Dennis Oszust at Inland Waters, does his name appear on a number of emails, letters, etc.  Paszkiewicz say correct.

Rataj says he was an operations guy,  Paszkiewicz says definitely an operations guy, not a field guy but yes an operations guy.

ASks if he was involved in negotiations between Inland and DWSD, and Inland and subs, knew the process and signed the contract.  Yes.

Paszkiewicz says he also supervised the contracts.

Rataj asks if Oszust reported to McCann and if she was the liason between Inland and Soave Enterprises.  asks if bottom line is that McCann is not an employee of Inland Waters. Paszkiewicz says no but she was on the board after Soave sold most of his interest in the company to another group.

Rataj says McCann was responsible for the industrial services portfolio which included Inland. yes.

ASks if she didn't have day to day contact with the contract Issues.  Yes.  And Judge Edmunds interjects and says could we have a sidebar.


Thomas is now moving on to a different contract, for third party construction, that he says Paszkiewicz thought was signed by Kwame.  Paszkiewicz says correct.

Shea is up now showing a July 2 2002 text message.  

Bernard: the real problem with the DWSD is the evaluation committee.  warren has some ideas how you can proceed can we meet with him tomorrow Evening?

Kwame: I will meet with him ad Victor Mercado. I'm an Ot just meeting with him.

Warren refers to Warren Evens who was chair of the water board at the time.

Shea asks if Kwame is putting off his father. Paszkiewicz says it looks like Kwame is saying he doesn't want to meet with just evens.

ASks if it means Kwame doesn't want to just meet with Evens. correct.


Thomas now says 4 months after Kwame signs the administrative order they start this parallel process and I say there's a lot of chatter about it.  Chutkow objects, Judge tells Thomas to rephrase the question.  Thomas asks if she new where the contract was .  Paszkiewicz says physically? I don't where physically.

Judge tells Thomas to move on stop asking the same questions that they've already asked.  Thomas apologizes and says but I need to lay the foundation to my  next question.  Judge Edmunds says you don't need to apologize you need to move on.


Thomas is now back on the transmittal record for the 1368 Inland Sewer lining contract.  He's running through the names and dates and signatures of the various departments that signed off on it.  This is the document that accompanies the contract as it is sent to the various departments for approval.

Thomas asks if she remembers that in Aug 2005 Kwame was running for Mayor and Lost the primary by 11 points.   Paszkiewicz says she remembers he lost but not by how much.

Thomas says it looks as if the procedure for payment for 1368 is tracking two parallel procurers, the traditional procedure and a separate procedure for the part that's converted by the special administrative order.  Paszkiewicz says yes.

Asks if she was aware that before the election it wasn't clear if kwame was going to be Mayor.  Thomas has rephrased this question three times before he got it in an understandable form. Paszkiewicz says she went to bed and it was undecided.

Thomas asks if she remembers a recount.  Yes.

Thomas asks it she considered this during her investigation.  No.

did she consider that 3 new council people would be elected.  Didn't consider it.

Is she familiar with the term "Lame Duck."  Paszkiewicz quips she works for the Federal Government.

Chutkow objects, irrelevant.  Judge tell Thomas to move along.


Thomas is now asking if she remembers that Bernard Parker was trying to find out who was holding up Inland Water's sewer lining contract and speculating about why it was held up.  Paszkiewicz says she doesn't agree it was speculation, she says Parker told her he'd had conversations with Kwame who said he was holding it up.

Thomas moves on, asks Paszkiewicz if she was happy to point out that she was happy to point out that the Mayor was at the head of the administrative branch.  Paszkiewicz says she doesn't know if she was "happy" she just testified to that.

Thomas has a bit of "edge" in his voice this morning, the friendly demeanor he showed yesterday seems to have faded a bit.

He's asking about an Insituform employee named Paul Meschino and showing an email speculating that the Mayor has failed to sign it.  Paszkiewicz looks puzzled and asks if there was a question in there.  Chutkow jumps in and says the email doesn't say anything about speculation.  Judge Edmunds sustains.  Thomas says he'll refrain from using the word "speculation."

Paszkiewicz reads the email.  It basically says the Mayor refused to sign off on the contract because there's no agreement with Bobby's company FEI. 

Thomas asks if she suspects this is an inter-office memo to other Insituform employees.


Okay the audio is on and we picked up in the middle of a question here. Thomas was asking the special agent about her personal knowledge but also asked her to answer without introducing hearsay. Paszkiewicz said part of her knowledge was base on interviews she'd done with staff, so...  And Thomas interrupted her at said well just tell me if it's hearsay so I can object.  Which is ironic because he can't object to his own line of questioning.  It's early, my ears may not be working yet.  But that struck me as funny.  I'll try to clear the cobwebs and pick up the thread of what they're talking about.


We've got no audio yet.  Jim Thomas is at the podium and Agent Paszkiewicz is on the stand.  They're looking at an email from Debra Ragland to Mercado.


Judge Nancy Edmunds is starting with a side-bar this morning.  The attorneys are now gathered around the bench.


Ferguson and his attorneys are now in the court room, 20 minutes after the proceedings were supposed to get started.  Funny how everyone else seemed to make it inside on time but Bobby a crew keep strolling in late. We should be getting under way in a moment or two.


M.L. Elrick just set up in his laptop in the overflow room, he reports that Bobby Ferguson and his attorneys are still standing in line waiting to get through security.  Could be a few more minutes before we get started.


The picture is up from the court room  Jim Thomas is conferring with Mark Chutkow in the center aisle.  Kwame Kilpatrick just entered and sat down across the table from his Father Bernard.  They've got there elbows on the table, leaning forward to talk to each other.


The Prosecution talked about opening a new chapter in the Kwame Kilpatrick Public Corruption Trial yesterday... but only just started to scratch the surface about contracts for construction at the Heilmann Community Center.  When they broke at the end of the day Special Agent Carol Paszkiewicz was on the stand being cross examined by Kwame's Attorney Jim Thomas, and that's where we'll pick up again this morning.


Good morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House.

Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News.  You can contact him at

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