A businessman testified Wednesday that then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was a frequent flier aboard his private planes, taking 20 round-trip flights worth nearly $400,000 but never paying a dime in return.
Tony Soave said he was uncomfortable with the arrangement but didn't want to cross the mayor and jeopardize any work with the city. He was a government witness on the 35th day of a corruption trial, a sweeping case of alleged extortion, bribery and rigged contracts during Kilpatrick's nearly seven years in office.
"It's hard to turn a mayor down," said Soave, the head of Soave Enterprises, based in Detroit. "I didn't want to get on the wrong side of him. I wanted to keep him happy."