Contempt Of Court Hearing Set For Bernard Kilpatrick: Kilpatrick Ordered To Appear After Failing To Testify In Greene Case
DETROIT — A federal judge has ordered the former Detroit Mayor’s father, Bernard Kilpatrick, to appear in a contempt of court hearing to explain why he failed to comply with a subpoena by not showing up for his deposition in the Tamara Greene lawsuit.
The contempt of court hearing has been set for Aug. 31 at the U.S. Courthouse in Detroit.
Kilpatrick was expected to testify in the $150 million wrongful death lawsuit on Aug. 12 in Texas, along with his daughter-in-law Carlita.
Instead, Kilpatrick informed Greene’s family attorney, Norman Yatooma, as he boarded a plane for Texas two days before the deposition that he was still in Michigan and could not afford to return to Texas for the deposition.
Kilpatrick told Yatooma that he wouldn’t appear for the deposition unless Yatooma paid his expenses to travel to Texas or unless Yatooma paid his Texas-based attorney’s expenses to travel to Michigan, according to court documents.
“Hopefully we can arrange something. Mr. Bernard Kilpatrick is not refusing to take a deposition. I want to make that clear,” said Killpatrick’s attorney Bobbie Gray Edmonds of Ft. Worth.
It’s unclear why Kilpatrick was in Michigan. He has been living in Texas with his son, Kwame Kilpatrick.
“Under this record, Mr. Kilpatrick and his counsel have manifestly failed to identify any valid excuse for Mr. Kilpatrick’s failure to obey the subpoena that was properly delivered to his counsel, commanding him to appear for the deposition on August 12,” said U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Rosen in a 5-page order.
Rosen said Kilpatrick and his attorney could avoid the hearing if Kilpatrick appears for a deposition before the scheduled hearing.
“He is going to have to do it one way or another. If he wants to do it in the courts contempt it doesn’t matter,” said Yatooma.
Bernard Kilpatrick and his attorney may be ordered to pay sanctions to Yatooma for his time travel and expenses.
Carlita Kilpatrick did testify on Aug. 12. However, her testimony remains sealed.
Yatooma is suing Carlita Kilpatrick’s husband, Kwame Kilpatrick and the city alleging a police cover-up of Greene’s 2003 slaying.
Greene was killed just months after rumors spread that the exotic dancer was performing during a party at the former mayor’s home, the Manoogian Mansion and then was assaulted by Carlita Kilpatrick.
It was the first time in eight years that Carlita Kilpatrick was questioned under oath about the assault allegations.
Yatooma said he wants to know if Bernard Kilpatrick was involved in the cover-up of Greene’s murder investigation.
Yatooma said a few months ago, he was threatened by a city attorney, warning him against deposing Bernard Kilpatrick.
“What was expressed was that if we tried to take Bernard’s deposition, we would end up face down in an alley with a knife in our back. We’re not running around afraid, but for those words to be uttered begs the question — why?” said Yatooma.
Bernard Kilpatrick is under investigation in a federal municipal corruption probe.
Earlier this month, Kwame Kilpatrick was transported from a Michigan prison where he is serving time for probation violation to testify in the case.
Yatooma is racing to wrap up the depositions before the case goes to trial in January.