John Shea's Big Case
Both Kilpatricks were indicted in 2010, along with Derrick Miller, Bobby Ferguson, and Victor Mercado, former head of the city water department. As summarized in the Detroit Free Press, they were accused of running a criminal enterprise through the mayor's office by manipulating bids, shaking down contractors, and using charity funds for personal use, as well as cheating on their taxes. Bernard personally, Shea explains, is accused "of conspiring with his son and others to leverage his son's office in order to financially benefit himself and those other people. And he's charged with not reporting all of his taxable income in three years." If convicted, the defendants face up to twenty years in prison.
On January 18--Day Fifty-Seven--the prosecution played a 2008 video in which Kilpatrick could be seen accepting $2,500 from James Rosendall, a vice-president of Synagro Technologies. The prosecution alleges that Kilpatrick collected at least $25,000 from Rosendall, along with expensive charter-jet flights to Las Vegas, for facilitating the billion-dollar sludge contract.
In his cross-examination, Shea suggested that the payment--and others like it--was legitimate compensation for helping Rosendall navigate City Hall's bureaucracy. And he played other tapes to bolster his argument that Kilpatrick thought he had more "juice" with his son's administration than he really did. There's no crime, he argues, in that.