Witness: Kilpatrick staff gave him cash

Feb. 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

DETROIT, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A former aide testified Friday staffers frequently gave Kwame Kilpatrick cash presents when he was mayor of Detroit.

Kizzi Montgomery said she once gave Kilpatrick $100 although the more usual present was $25, The Detroit News reported. Defense lawyers called her to testify to show the money in Kilpatrick's bank account was the result of gifts, not bribes as the prosecution alleges.

Montgomery said Kilpatrick sometimes received lavish presents, paid for with money collected from city employees. On one occasion, staffers presented him with a Rolex watch and on another a golfing holiday.

Asked if the gifts were compulsory, Montgomery responded they were "expected." A prosecutor began cross-examination by asking her about her salary and she responded that she made $32,000 a year when she started.

Montgomery, who worked in community affairs for Kilpatrick, is now Mayor Dave Bing's director of governmental affairs.

She described Kilpatrick's 2006 birthday party. She said developer Don Barden presented a large cash gift and said others at the party should follow his example.

Montgomery said she did once get a present from Kilpatrick -- a $50 Target card.

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday after more than two months.

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