Lawyers: Detroit defendants earned pay

Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:33 AM

DETROIT, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Attorneys for two defendants in Detroit's corruption trial said in closing arguments that the government based its case on lying witnesses and weak evidence.

Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson, along with Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, are accused of running a fraud operation out of city hall, the Detroit Free Press reported.

During closing arguments Thursday, John Shea and Gerald Evelyn said their clients were getting paid for legitimate work and services they provided.

Shea, representing Bernard Kilpatrick, argued that his client helped businesses land city deals but didn't do anything illegal just because his son was mayor.

And Evelyn painted Ferguson as a hard-working minority businessman who earned all the money he has made, The Detroit News reported.

Both attorneys attacked the credibility of witnesses who testified about paying the defendants to keep contracts with the city.

Bernard Kilpatrick faces one racketeering conspiracy count, one extortion count and two tax charges. Ferguson is facing 11 counts, including racketeering conspiracy, bribery and extortion.

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