Updated: Thursday, 29 Oct 2009, 10:24 PM EDT
By ROBIN SCHWARTZ & AMY LANGE
DETROIT (myFOXDetroit.com) – For the first time since leaving the city in scandal and disgrace, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick answered questions about his personal finances in a Detroit courtroom. We learned Thursday that Kilpatrick received some big bucks from some very powerful friends.
We learned that the former mayor’s family, his wife and children, received $50,000 in gifts from businessman Matty Moroun, who owns the Ambassador Bridge. This after a day when Kilpatrick had few answers about anything else.
Wayne Co. Asst. Prosecutor Athina Siringas: Are you and your wife, I assume, live together?
Kilpatrick: Yes, ma’am.
Siringas: And you are still husband and wife raising three children, right?
Kilpatrick: Yes, ma’am.
Siringas: And you’re telling this court that you do not know if your wife works?
Kilpatrick: I’ve been through a year of an incredible, revolutionary process in my life, and what you’ve brought out with this entire case are things that my wife didn’t know. And, so now, I’m in a period of time where there is some things as we work out our issues that I don’t know. But I’m sure, I’m sure, because of the grace of God, that I’ll know everything pretty soon.
Detroit’s former mayor telling the court there’s a lot he doesn’t know about his own family’s finances. He told the judge he doesn’t even know who pays the rent on his family’s million dollar home in South Lake, Texas. He also faced questions about their bank accounts and available cash.
Siringas: On February 4, 2009, you had checks in your possession totaling $150,000 made payable to you — Kwame M. Kilpatrick, correct?
Siringas: And those checks were endorsed by you, correct?
Siringas: And those checks were given by you to your wife, Carlita Kilpatrick. Is that correct?
The former mayor also told the court he received a $240,000 personal loan from heavy hitters Peter Karmanos, Dan Gilbert, Roger Penske and Jim Nicholson the day he got out of jail.
Kilpatrick says he’s paid $87,000 so far towards the one million in restitution he owes the city, and he owes his layers another $600,000.
Prosecutors contend Kilpatrick is lying about his finances and may have even committed perjury, and they believe money is being moved and hidden in various bank accounts.
“He had assets of over $240,000 that he failed to disclose to this court in violation of all orders of the court,” said Siringas.
Meanwhile, the mayor spoke with reporters outside the courthouse. Kilpatrick said he hopes the city can move on after all of this is over and that he truly loves this city.
Kilpatrick also said the following about his wife, “I put my family through an incredible year of tremendous pain, my wife, my children, and we’re healing from that. And if I went out and got a personal loan or if I went out and cashed in something, I want to make sure, and I think all men can understand this what I’m about to say, but I have no other way to articulate it, that I want to make my wife happy. I want to be the man that she married. I want to be the father that I know I am, and I want to be the husband that I know I am. So, this whole idea of putting all those things in a negative light in a courtroom for, like I said, political theater, is too bad.”
When Kilpatrick was asked whether he was shuffling money, funneling to different accounts, he responded, “Absolutely not.”
Everyone is due back in court on November 17.
Roger Penske has issued the following statement to area media: Together with several other business leaders, I made a personal loan to former Mayor Kilpatrick last year in response to his concern for the welfare of his family following the disclosures which led to his resignation.
Compuware CEO Peter Karmanos, Jr. also released this statement: Together with other concerned citizens, I made a personal loan to former Mayor Kilpatrick last year so that we could encourage him to resign. We were concerned about the city, and we wanted to help care for his family until he could get back on his feet. At this time the loan remains outstanding.
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