Kwame Kilpatrick and his attorney James Thomas
16 August 2012. One day after denying him a new lawyer, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds allowed a fourth attorney to former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick’s defence team to handle any potential conflicts of interest involving government witnesses in the upcoming public corruption trial. In her previous decision she refused a new attorney because she thought that the request for a new attorney was a delaying tactics on the part of Kilpatrick. His lawyer, James Thomas, had represented him for almost four and a half years in a number of state and federal cases, both civil and criminal. More importantly, Thomas has represented Kilpatrick in this case from the very beginning, the judge wrote. Kilpatrick vigorously argued that the firm for which Thomas works represented plaintiffs in a separate civil suit against Kilpatrick and others over a sewer repair project that allegedly cost millions more than it was supposed to because of grossly inflated invoices. The contract was awarded to Kilpatrick’s long time contractor friend and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson. In the criminal case, Kilpatrick is charged with steering some of the work from that sewer project to Ferguson.