Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 55 - FOX 35 News Orlando

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 55

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DETROIT -

Judge Nancy Edmunds calls it a day.  Bullotta wanted to play one more undercover video but we'll have to wait until tomorrow.  That should be good.  Even Better,  M.L. Elrick has another Kwame investigation story running at 10pm tonight on Fox 2 news, tune in to see what he's uncovered this time.

1:00

MOre tape... Rosendall tells Bernard that Rayford was supposed to get 10,000 a month but Synagro was holding up the payments.

Bullotta asks if Rosendall saw Bernard old up his hand and heard him say can you do that.  Rosendall says he meant pay me $5,000.

Shea is objecting.  Judge Edmunds tells him Rosendall is just testifying to what he understands was meant by that.

Bullotta plays the tape again and asks did you believe he was asking for 5,000 dollars.  Yes.

Bullotta asks if  Rosendall came back after this.  Rosendall says he came back with cash.

12:54
REally long taped conversation in noisy restaurant.


Bullotta asks when Bernard talks about getting five people what's he talking about.  Rosendall says 5 on city council.  Bernard mentions Joanne Watson and Kwame Kenyatta, Barbara Rose Collins, and if you pay Barb you'll get her vote.  The rest of them, Monica played both sides of the game and tried to get money.

Rosendall says Bernard claimed they'd spent money with the local neighborhood groups that didn't need to be spent and bypassed him.

More tape.... Rosendall says he had 2500 in cash.... that he's personally covering that so Bernard could get through it.

questioned by Bullotta, Rosendall says he had offered Bernard the 2500 in cash.  Says Bernard didn't take it. Wanted a check.  Akuna said he could write a check to Black Onyx.

Bullotta plays more tape.  (Kwame is slumped in his chair listening with his hand on the side of his face.  Bobby is reading over EVelyn's shoulder.)

Rosendall says they were talking about plumb sum payments and completion dates.

MOre tape,  Rosendall is listing big dollar figures for Bernard.


Bullotta asks what were you talking about.  Rosendall says the monthly payments.  24,000 a month plus 18,000 a quarter paid to Rayford, Akuna, and BK.

Bullotta asks if he's read the last part of the tape transcript.  Rosendall reads it now.  Says it's a breakdown of the agreement and how the payments would be made.

Bullotta asks if Bernard took the cash.  No.

Bullotta asks if he met with Bernard in March.  Says they didn't go inside even though it was cool.  SAys it was a meeting to give Bernard MOney.  March 5th,2008.

Undercover video.  This is from a  pen cam type device shot from a pocket or a button camera attached to the front of Rosendall's shirt.  WE're looking up at Bernard as he stands outside. 

BErnard calls him out for trying to hand him money in a crowded restaurant.  TElls Rosendall that people just won't go under the bus for you.  Rosendall now apologizes for trying to give him the cash in public and tells Bernard he hopes it's all straight.

Bullotta asks about the 2500.  Rosendall says Bernard was telling him not to do that in public.

Bullotta asks what Bernard meant when he said there were only three people he trusted in the city.  Rosendall says Bernard only trusted 3 people,there's not a lot of trust here. 

12:34

On Jan 2 2008 Rosendall says he was  pulled over by a  agent Beeckman and Dodge on highway heading to Jackson,  Mi.  Says agents asked him if he'd go with them and have a meeting.

Rosendall says he went to the FBI building, Beeckman road in his car with him.

Says after meeting with them he decided to cooperate, wear a wire.

Bullotta asks how often he was in Detroit.  Says every week, usually on Tuesdays.

Bullotta asks if he arranged a meeting with Bernard at Souther Fires restaurant.  had a couple thousand dollars, 2500.  Got from the FBI.

Says he took the money to pay Bernard, Bernard was pressuring him.  He was working with the FBI.

Bullotta rolls the tape.

Rosendall is talking on the tape about a heated conversation outside his office.

Rosendall says he was talking about the champagne parking lot meeting, says he also told Bernard he didn't want to hear him talk about killing the deal.

back to tape, "I want to work things out... at some point we gotta... You guys had an agreement...

Bullotta asks, you said like I told you last time I never knew what it was.  Rosendall says he was talking about the arrangement between  Bernard and Rayford and it wasn't in writing.

Bullotta asks what Bernard meant when he says it didn't have to go south, my original  agreement was with you.

Rosendall says Bernard was talking about the Manoogian meeting.  Rosendall says that's when he told Bernard it was Bernard that brought in Rayford.

more tape...

Bernard on tape -People put me in the position I DON'T HAVE  options so Ill exercise the options I have.

Rosendall says Bernard was threatening to kill the Synagro deal.

more tape...

Bernard says "I'll walk away but I'll blow up the house..."

Rosendall says the "house" was the Synagro deal and if he didn't get his money from Rayford and Akuna he'd bow up the Synagro deal.

more tape, Rosendall is complaining about being stuck in the middle.

12:05

More tape... "He's threatening to unravel the deal.  He's going nuts." Rosendall says this is what he told Rayford Jackson in this call.

Rayford says "if you keep trying to pacify him it's just going to fuel him" talking about Bernard.

Bullotta asks about Black Onyx.  Rosendall says it was a company owned by Akuna.

Bullotta shows and email from Akuna Olumba with the name Black Onyx on it.  an invoice was included.  Dec 21 2007, customer was Synagro.

Akuna charged Synagro, due upon receipt, minority participation and political consultation.  $5,000.  Rosendall says she never provided any services of this nature to this date.

Bullotta asks who is Pam Racey.  Rosendall says she worked for Synagro out of Baltimore, Rosendall had forwarded the invoice to her, Racey emailed back, says you should probably be the one to call Rayford.

Rosendall says at the corporate office was in Houston but Racey worked out of Baltimore.

Bullotta plays call Rosendall made to Racey.

call: Rosendall tells her if he didn't think they could screw with us up he'd blow them off and not deal with them.  Pam says right.
says what blows him away is that Rayford is sitting back and being a hard ass when he knows the deal.

Rosendall says everyone was being greedy and unreasonable.  Says he didn't think Akuna and Bernard were owed money.  in the call Rosendall told Racey they'd screw with the permits.  by they he means Rayford, Akuna, the city.

and the judge calls for a 5 minute break.

11:53
Let's go to the  video tape!!   Rosendall and Bernard in the parking lot.  Rosendall hauls out the case of champagne while Bernard looks around furtively.  Rosendall muscles it into the back of Bernard's SUV.  Then we see Rosendall go back to his own car to get the money.  Bullotta pauses the tape so the jury can see he had something in his hand.

Rosendall is wearing a sweater and chino's and smiling.  Bernard is wearing his overcoat and hat and looking like he just stole something off the back of a truck.

Rosendall says he thought at the time that Bernard could blow up the deal.

11:49

Rosendall says as far as he knows Bernard didn't do anything to earn any money.

Bullotta plays more tape.


Bullotta asks if this is the end of the breakfast conversation.  Asks if he talked about McNamara and Duggan, that they worked for the county and that Bernard worked for the county.

Shea jumps up to object, asks for a sidebar.

Bullotta asks about Bernard talking about something in the past.

Rosendall says he was talking about carving up deals with the county just like they were carving up this deal.

Rosendall says Akuna's role was to cover up for Bernard.

Bullotta now says on Dec 20 2007 do you know your phone was tapped. No.

more tape... a voice message left for him by BK.  says he wants a call, "vacation or no motherfucking vacation."

Rosendall says he was concerned because he didn't want the deal to go sideways and Bernard was angry.

Says he called Bernard back.  Says other consultants didn't leave messages for him like this.

Bullotta asks if Bernard met him in a parking lot to resolve the issue.  Yes.

Asks if something might happen Rosendall says he could have delayed building permits or might have undone the deal, Mayor's dad.

Rosendall says they met outside, in the cold, because Bernard was to make it quick and rumor had it that... Shea objects.

Bullotta asks again.  Rosendall says he believes Bernard told him his office was bugged.  says he wanted to appease the situation, had a Christmas present for him.   It was a case of Crystal Champagne worth a couple thousand dollars.  Dude, I'm thrilled if someone  buys me a  beer, even a cheap beer.

Rosendall says he gave him the champagne but Bernard was more interested in cash, said he needed to buy gifts for the grand kids, says this struck a chord so he went back to his car, got 3 hundred bucks, stuck it in a gum wrapper and gave it to Bernard.

11:36

Rosendall says he told Bernard at the breakfast meeting that he couldn't tell Synagro officials Bernard was involved because they were uncomfortable paying someone so close to the Mayor.

Bullotta plays more...  it's noisy in the restaurant and hard to hear.

Bullotta asks if Bernard asked about the percentage split, 45,45,10.  Rosendall says he told him it would be broken up 45/55, to Rayford and Akuna, and that Akuna would pay Bernard because his name couldn't appear on an Synagro AGreement.

Bullotta asks about the "success fee." Rosendall says it was between 7 and $8 million, not all at once.  Says there were trigger periods, like successful financing, start of construction, when air permits were issued.

more tape...

It's hard to hear the conversation because the restaurant is so noisy, every plate clank, background conversations, silverware clattering.

Bullotta asks if Bernard asked about monthly payments.  Rosendall says Synagro sent a written agreement to  Rayford and they talked about modifying it to include Akuna, but not Bernard.

125,000 success fee was to be paid shortly after council approval.  Rosendall says it would be 25,000 a  month.

11:24

Bullotta now plays a phone call from Nov 27 2007.  we hear when the mayor signs off and council signs off it goes into the legal news.

Rosendall says he was talking to Rayford Jackson but didn't know the FBI was listening.  Says they talked about the Synagro contract being approved.  We heard Jackson say the Mayor had  already signed off, take care of BK.

Rosendall says Bernard had a financial interest and would get his cut when the mayor signed off.

Bullotta asks about the actual contract with the city.  Rosendall says Synagro would handle all the DWSD sludge, some would go into land application, taken to farmland, the other portion was for Synagro to build a new incinerator.

Rosendall say it was a very good contract for the city.  Says the total contract would have been more than $1 billion.  Bullotta asks if that's around $47 million a year gross revenue.  Rosendall  says that sounds about right.

Bullotta asks what monies were Bernard and Rayford going to get.  Rosendall says Rayford and Bernard would get 45% each and Bernard's girlfriend  Akuna Columbia would get 10%.  not of the billion obviously, not sure what the percentage was from.

Bullotta asks about a breakfast meeting in Royal Oak.  Rosendall says it was crowded but he didn't have to wait because the  hostess took him straight to a table, reserved for him by the FBI.  I'll bet that's not the last breakfast he'll have a table reserved for him by the government, may lunch and dinner too. 

Rosendall says he met with the gang to figure out who was going to do what, and how to divide the proceeds.

Bullotta plays the tape.

11:13

Rosendall says he gave Bernard small amounts of cash and always paid for lunch.  Says Bernard and Tardiff pressured chin to give  75,000 to Kilpatrick civic fund.  Also gave $10,000 to the Generations PAC run by Kilpatrick.  These were out of his personal account.  I'm thinking he was probably hiding his check book from his wife by this time, and waiting at the mailbox when the statements arrived, eh?

Says he wrote a $5,000 check to the inaugural committee.  The jury is asking Bullotta to back up and show them the previous checks so they can get the dates.  They may be feeling under the weather but they are still fully engaged, totally into the proceedings.

Bernard is leaning back in his chair with his hands folded under his chin, Kwame is leaning back, too, resting his head on one hand, stone faced.  Bobby is sitting stiffly upright, looks like he's adding up numbers in his head, he pauses, gestures to Kwame, and leans past Evelyn to whisper something.

Rosendall now testifying that Rayford Jackson asked for expense money to pay bribes.

Thomas jumps in and objects, requests a sidebar.  He doesn't want Rosendall to talk about who Rayford paid, hearsay.

11:09

Rosendall says Rayford Jackson wanted to be reimbursed for paying bribes to Monica Conyers.  Synagro coughed up the money.  SAys RAyford told him abut the bribe, says it was paid  before the matter came up before council.

Rosendall says he knew before hand that Rayford was going to pay Conyers the bribe. 

Bullotta asks if he pleaded guilty and was this part of his guilty plea.  Yes.

11:09

Rosendall says he gave Bernard small amounts of cash and always paid for lunch.  Says Bernard and Tardiff pressured chin to give  75,000 to Kilpatrick civic fund.  Also gave $10,000 to the Generations PAC run by Kilpatrick.  These were out of his personal account.  I'm thinking he was probably hiding his check book from his wife by this time, and waiting at the mailbox when the statements arrived, eh?

Says he wrote a $5,000 check to the inaugural committee.  The jury is asking Bullotta to back up and show them the previous checks so they can get the dates.  They may be feeling under the weather but they are still fully engaged, totally into the proceedings.

Bernard is leaning back in his chair with his hands folded under his chin, Kwame is leaning back, too, resting his head on one hand, stone faced.  Bobby is sitting stiffly upright, looks like he's adding up numbers in his head, he pauses, gestures to Kwame, and leans past Evelyn to whisper something.

Rosendall now testifying that Rayford Jackson asked for expanse money to pay bribes.

Thomas jumps in and objects, requests a sidebar.  He doesn't want Rosendall to talk about who Rayford paid, hearsay.

11:00

We're back.  Judge Edmunds says one or more of the jurors is not feeling well.

Bullotta asks Rosendall if Bernard told him there was someone else he was going to work with.  This was Rayford Jackson.

Rayford was the subject of several Fox 2 investigations, ranging from mortgage deals to construction contracts.  Rayford was part of several huge construction development contracts even though he basically worked out of his car, which was eventually repossessed, had no equipment or employees, and didn't do anything that we could see besides such up a percentage of the deal.

Bullotta is asking about 2004-2007 when Rosendall was working on the Synagro deal did Bernard ask him for money.  Yes

Bullotta shows a $5,000 check written on Rosendall's personal bank account, his wife's name is on the check as well, to Bernard.  Says he gave him the check because Bernard was leaning on him for a loan or money or something.

Rosendall says he wrote "consulting" on the check even though Bernard wasn't really doing any consulting, says he thought Bernard could interrupt the deal because his son was the Mayor.  Says he wrote consulting on the check because his wife would want to know what it was for.  SAys his wife didn't want him working down here to begin with.

Bullotta showing another check form his personal ACcount to Bernard for 5 grand.  this one says loan in the memo line.  ha ha ha ha, Loan.

Rosendall says he had hoped it was but turns out not.  Says he paid so they wouldn't get tripped up on the contract approval.   says the contract was worth 1.1 billion over 25 years.

10:42

One of the jurors asked to go the bathroom and Judge Edmunds, who was going to push on for a few more minutes, relented and decided to take a 20 minute break.  WE'll have to see if that juror makes it back.

While on break a school group came through the main lobby and stopped where the defendants and there attorneys were having coffee.  Kwame worked the crowd like he was running for office, even there were few in the crowd over 5 feet tall.

10:20

Rosendall testifies he heard Detroit was pay to play, if you wanted to do business you'd have to hire certain people or pay off certain people.

Says it was clear to him the Mayor was telling him to hire Bernard.  Says he already had a consultant.  Says he didn't need to hire another consultant.

Bullotta is standing so close to the mic it's popping, can't really hear the questions here.

Judge Edmunds is now telling Rosendall not to stand so close to the mic.

10:15

Rosendall  now testifying about a trip to Las Vegas, Ruth Carter, Mike Martin, Miller, and Kwame among other were on the chartered plane he arranged.  Tardiff was also on the trip, Rosendall says he went to the airport but didn't get on the plane, says the Mayor thought the plane was too small so he asked Tardiff to stay behind. 

Bullotta introducing evidence now.  Lots of paperwork here. Phone calls,  meetings, text, a video.  All are received.  Judge Edmunds says all are admitted but wants to put an objection from John Shea about one of the exhibits on the record.

Bullotta now hand Rosendall a document.  It's a check to pay for the charter plane.  Corporate check to Rapid Air for nearly $20,000.

$19,993.55 dated 9/30/2003

Bullotta shows the Mayors calendar.  Rosendall reads the entry, "depart from Will or Run airport..."

next entry had "Las Vegas"  cal ender also shows return time to Detroit.  Rosendall says this is consistent with the trip he arranged.

Bullotta is now showing a receipt for $475 from "Scooter MOves." a transportation company.  Rosendall says aside from this he didn't pay for any other part of the trip.  This was a receipt he turned in on his expense report.

Now Bullotta is asking about attending a fundraiser with Mike Tardiff the Mayor's political advisor.  Says Tardiff introduced him to the Mayor and then the Mayor took him downstairs and introduce him to his dad Bernard.  THis was in the basement of the Manoogian.  told him Bernard would be the point person for the Minergy contract, "this is the guy I want you to work with."

Rosendall says he calls Bernard "BK.".

10:11

Bullotta asks Rosendall if anyone ever told him how business works in Detroit...  Objection.  Sidebar.

9:57

James Rosendall is now being sworn in.  He is the key witness in the Synagro chapter, and another star witness for the prosecution.  He's a veritable rock star in the world of snitches for the government, is thought of very highly while at the same time having plead guilty to several crimes related to the Synagro scandal.

Rosendall  says Synagro took sludge and make granular fertilizer out of it.  Says he got involved in the business in 1989.

I talked to one business person on the southwest side of Detroit who says Rosendall was wheeling and dealing for Synagro and himself for several years prior to the sludge hauling deal, even bought property near the Sewage treatment plant there.

Says he met in Kwame's office in Lansing and then walked to a green house behind the Capitol to continue the conversation.  SAys he was talking to then Rep. Kilpatrick about a Contract for a company called Minergy.  Says he thought Kwame had a good chance of becoming mayor and wanted to get in on the ground floor.  Says Minergy would turn sludge into another granular product for roofing shingles and other building materials.

Says the problem Minergy had at that time was it's contract wasn't for a long enough term.  Rosendall says he as Vice President of Synagro at the time and Synagro wanted to buy the Minergy contract.  Needed a longer term contract before they would buy out Minergy.

Rosendall says he talked to the Mayor about the contract, Jim Sykes was there, he worked for then Rep. Kilpatrick. 

Rosendall says he gave them 3 checks, one from himself, 2 others from people he can't remember.  all three checks were for $3400.  Campaign contributions.

Says the soon to be Mayor said if he makes it in we'll talk.

Mike Bullotta is doing the questioning.  ASks about a meeting at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

Rosendall says he met with Kwame and Sykes again at that time, 2002.

9:43

James Rosendall is now being sworn in.  He is the key witness in the Synagro chapter, and another star witness for the prosecution.  He's a veritable rock star in the world of snitches for the government, is thought of very highly while at the same time having plead guilty to several crimes related to the Synagro scandal.

Rosendall  says Synagro took sludge and make granular fertilizer out of it.  Says he got involved in the business in 1989.

I talked to one business person on the southwest side of Detroit who says Rosendall was wheeling and dealing for Synagro and himself for several years prior to the sludge hauling deal, even bought property near the Sewage treatment plant there.

Says he met in Kwame's office in Lansing and then walked to a green house behind the Capitol to continue the conversation.  SAys he was talking to then Rep. Kilpatrick about a Contract for a company called Minergy.  Says he thought Kwame had a good chance of becoming mayor and wanted to get in on the ground floor.  Says Minergy would turn sludge into another granular product for roofing shingles and other building materials.

Says the problem Minergy had at that time was it's contract wasn't for a long enough term.  Rosendall says he as Vice President of Synagro at the time and Synagro wanted to buy the Minergy contract.  Needed a longer term contract before they would buy out Minergy.

Rosendall says he talked to the Mayor about the contract, Jim Sykes was there, he worked for then Rep. Kilpatrick. 

Rosendall says he gave them 3 checks, one from himself, 2 others from people he can't remember.  all three checks were for $3400.  Campaign contributions.

Says the soon to be Mayor said if he makes it in we'll talk.

Mike Bullotta is doing the questioning.  ASks about a meeting at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

Rosendall says he met with Kwame and Sykes again at that time, 2002.

Says the Mayor handed him off to Derrick Miller.

9:43

Evelyn asks if he told Bobby that the DPM team would squash him like a bug, that he could be fired.  Jones says him and anyone else who didn't perform.

Evelyn is done.

PRosecutor Doeh up on re-direct.

ASks if he stopped getting requests for proposals after Bobby told him the Mayor would call Governor.  Jones says yes he know he was going to have problems.

Evelyn back, asks if he called Tim Miles.  Jones says why call the guy who stole his employees, he did' think he'd be any help.  Says he has a good relationship with him but didn't seek information from him.  Odell Jones is excused.

9:38

A chair is missing in the jury box.  The court room Marshal is carrying one over.  Judge Edmunds jokes with the juror that she'll have to stand the whole time.

Everyone is seated now and Gerald Evelyn is asking Jones if he can recall ever losing a bid on a job after the Book project.

Jones says he can't recall specifics.

Evelyn says I'm asking for a specific instance.  Jones says he can't give him the name of a specific contract he lost.

Evelyn asks if when he was talking to the Mayor at the Manoogian did he talk about specific contracts.  Jones says he did not talk about a specific contract.

Evelyn asks if he spoke to the Mayor's mother.  Jones says he didn't talk about contracts with her, just the relationship.

moving on to Detroit public schools managment contract.  Jones says he agrees the Mayor did not have control over it.

Evelyn asks if he remembers a ballot initiative to turn the DPPM over to the Mayor.  Jones can't recall.

Evelyn asks if he had a chance to read over his grand jury testimony.  Home work?  Jones says he recalls his testimony.

Evelyn asks if he remembers testifying about the meeting with Turner to resolve it's problems with Bobby.  Asks if Bobby was not complaining because the matter was resolved.  Evelyn is trying to say the letter Bobby sent to Jones was not about the payment issue he had with Turner construction.

Jones is saying his grand jury testimony was that Bobby didn't need to send the letter which he copied to the Mayor because Jones himself could had resolved the problem.

Evelyn asks if he told FBI agents if during a meeting with the African American business association it was decided that Bobby would be the point person with the Mayor. 

Evelyn asks if he has a brother.  Jones says yes Oswell.

Evelyn asks if Bobby hosted pick up basketball games at his office.  Jones says he did play basketball with them.  Says he wouldn't know but it's possible his brother played.  Says Oswell did socialize with others in the administration.

9:23

 "All rise"  Judge Nancy Edmunds takes her seat.

9:21

Bobby and Kwame seem to be having a very serious discussion.  They are in familiar postures, Kwame leaning back with hands folded across his chest, Bobby leaning forward, gesturing with his hands when he talks, head bouncing.

Bernard is just chilling.'  Hands folded in his lap, looking relaxed and maybe a little bored, watching the Kwame and Bobby talk.  He's around the corner of the table, 4 chairs away from Bobby and Kwame.

The rest of the attorneys are coming out of chambers now.  Jim Thomas and John Shea are having a brief chat at the door behind the Judge's bench before entering the room.  Gerald Evelyn is having a conference with Van Dusen and Rataj.  Odell Jones is seated in the witness box, also looking relaxed.

9:20

The attorneys appear to be with the Judge in chambers.  The court room is extremely quiet.

9:13

Jim Thomas, Gerald Evelyn and Mike Rataj are in the room now, Bobby Ferguson has taken his seat and is chatting with Kwame.

9:02

the picture is up and we're ready to rock and roll with another day of testimony.  Kwame and Bernard Kilpatrick are in the court room with Susan Van Dusen the only attorney at the table so far.

8:47

Good Morning from the Theodore J. Levin Court House.  Odell Jones is back on the stand this morning.  Jones was involved with renovation of the Book Cadillac Hotel.


Ken Martinek is Senior Producer-Investigations for Fox 2 News. You can contact him at ken.martinek@foxtv.com

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