Bernard Kilpatrick gives deposition in Greene case today
The father of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick arrived this morning to testify under oath in a lawsuit filed by the family of a woman who supposedly danced at the long-rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion.
“There is no reason for me to be here,” Bernard Kilpatrick said on his way into the deposition with his lawyer, Bobbie Edmonds, of Ft. Worth, Texas. “There was no party. … This whole thing is a joke.”
Kilpatrick wouldn’t indicate what he plans to talk about during the seven-hour deposition on orders of Edmonds, who repeatedly tried to prevent him from talking to reporters.
The deposition is being held at the Birmingham law firm of Norman Yatooma, who represents the family of Tamara Greene, 27, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Detroit in April 2003, several months after she supposedly danced at the wild party.
The family contends Detroit police deliberately sabotaged her homicide investigation to prevent the family from filing a wrongful death suit against her killers.
Edmonds asked U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen last month to quash the subpoena for the deposition, but Rosen refused. Kilpatrick skipped the deposition, prompting Yatooma to ask Rosen to hold Kilpatrick in contempt.
Kilpatrick averted a contempt hearing today by appearing for the deposition.
Kilpatrick is among more than three dozen witnesses Yatooma is deposing in his lawsuit against the city.
Kilpatrick’s son, Kwame Kilpatrick, who is being sued along with the city of Detroit, has denied the party occurred and that his wife, Carlita Kilpatrick, assaulted a stripper after walking in on the bash.
City attorney John Schapka said in a legal brief two weeks ago that none of the depositions or thousands of pages of documents the lawsuit has generated has established that a party occurred or that Detroit cops scuttled an investigation into Greene’s death — a claim Yatooma disagrees with.
At 12:15 p.m., Kilpatrick and his lawyer left the law office for lunch.
“They’re getting on my nerves,” Kilpatrick told reporters, but wouldn’t elaborate. He said he’d have more to say after the deposition.
The elder Kilpatrick, wearing a brown pinstripe suit and gold tie, accused Yatooma of being a greedy lawyer.
“These greedy so and sos are trying to get some money,” he said. He added, “Now they’re trying to pin a murder on him … this is crap.”
Edmonds, in trying to quash his deposition, said Kilpatrick would invoke his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and not answer any questions. He’s under investigation by federal authorities in the Detroit municipal corruption probe.
When asked if he thought he might be charged in the federal probe, Kilpatrick said: “Anything is possible.”
He also said he talked with his son, Kwame Kilpatrick, about a week ago. Kwame Kilpatrick is in federal prison in Milan awaiting trial on federal tax evasion charges. He was jailed earlier this year for violating the terms of his probation in the text messaging and perjury scandal that forced him to resign from office and spend time in jail.
“He’s as strong as a 20-mule borax team,” Kilpatrick said, referring to the old television series narrated by future U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Kilpatrick said his son is only in jail because prosecutors were unhappy with the plea deal they arranged in the text messaging and perjury scandal and decided to go after him for probation violation.