Jon Rutherford told the court Thursday he was a willing enabler of Kilpatrick and sought a close relationship with him because he was a rising political star who could help further Rutherford's own goal of developing a casino-hotel along the Detroit River.
"I was very impressed with his intelligence, his ability to interact with people; his drive," Rutherford testified. "I thought the world of him."
Rutherford thought so much of the now-disgraced mayor, he spent more than $440,000 bankrolling Kilpatrick's political ambitions.
"Yes, yes, I guess I wanted something in the end," Rutherford said.
The Detroit News said Rutherford's own past provided ammunition for the defense on cross-examination Friday. Rutherford, who once operated a homeless shelter, pleaded guilty tax evasion and has a 21-month prison term awaiting him once his testimony in the Kilpatrick case is completed.