11 October 2012. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, his longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson and former water department director Victor Mercado are on trial in U.S. District Court in Detroit. A federal grand jury indicted Kwame Kilpatrick, former mayor of Detroit, Michigan, on tax charges in June 2010. In December 2010, a grand jury charged him and the other men with running city hall like a criminal enterprise. In February, Kilpatrick and Ferguson were charged with extorting money from a city towing contractor. Together, they face 36 counts accusing them of a conspiracy to enrich themselves by rigging City of Detroit contracts through the mayor’s office. Prosecution produced wide-ranging testimony that he used funds illegally from his nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund to pay for yoga, relatives’ tuition, his sons’ preschool and a Colorado ski rendezvous with his former chief of staff and lover, Christine Beatty. Defense claimed that the funds were spent on legitimate purposes for those and other expenses questioned in the testimony. Perhaps most effectively, Thomas argued that When Kilpatrick’s sons graduated from preschool he Civic Fund sent in $5,000. This the defence described as a gift that was in line with the mission of the fund. Kilpatrick and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson exchanged text messages such as, “‘Let’s get us some money,’ ‘No deal without me,’ ‘It’s my time to get paid’,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow told jurors. Kilpatrick pocketed kickbacks, bought $60,000 worth of custom-made suits, and paid off credit cards with $280,000 in cash, Chutkow said. Ferguson, a construction company owner and long-time Kilpatrick friend, helped the ex-mayor rig $60 million in city contracts, Chutkow charged. The government showed more text messages Wednesday, including some that reveal the relationship between the mayor and his former chief of staff. The pair talked about a November 2002 rendezvous in Vail, Colorado, partially paid for with Civic Fund cash, according to testimony. Prosecutors can call on more than 200 witnesses and rely on 600,000 text messages exchanged on city-issued devices. Kwame Kilpatrick graduated with honors from Florida A&M University (FAMU) and served as floor leader in the Michigan House of Representatives in 1996 – 2001. He was elected Mayor of Detroit, Michigan in 2001. His mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, represented Michigan’s 13th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives until she lost her primary election on 3 August 2010. Her election defeat could in part be attributed to the Kwame Kilpatrick scandals. Kilpatrick’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, served as Chief of Staff to former Wayne County Executive Edward H. McNamara and currently operates a consulting firm called Maestro Associates of Detroit.