Kirkpatrick witness faces cross-exam

Oct. 19, 2012 at 5:18 PM
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DETROIT, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A prosecution witness faced defense questioning Friday after testifying he routinely plied Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick with cash and campaign contributions.

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.

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