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Fed’s Star Witness Testifies That he Delivered Kickbacks to Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Ex-Mayor Kilpatrick with ex-friend Derrick Miller (inset)

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Kwame Kilpatrick fidgeted in his chair, sometimes leaning to the left, sometimes smirking, looking worried and shaking his head in disbelief, as he watched ex-close friend Derrick Miller deliver some damaging testimony on the 49th day of trial Monday.

Miller, who was part of Kilpatrick’s inner circle at city hall, and who was billed as the prosecution’s star witness, testified in Detroit federal court that he regularly took cash kickbacks from a real estate firm that did business with the city and shared half with Kilpatrick. He did not specify how much he shared.

In his three hours of testimony, Miller painted Kilpatrick as someone who lied to the public, pocketed bribes, steered money to friends and family, and was so paraonoid of the feds that he had his office swept for bugs. Specifically, Miller said Kilpatrick publicly claimed he properly used funds from the nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund while he appeared to have violated the law by using the money for his campaign and personal expenses, including lavish resort vacations, golf clubs and yoga classes.

The long-awaited testimony seemed to help prosecutors connect the dots and corroborate testimony, but may have fallen a little short of the drama some had anticipated. But there is more to come Tuesday, as the prosecution indicated it planned to question Miller for about two more hours.

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