6A - Thursday, February 13, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Public pays more than $1
million for Kwame trial I
lawyer charged $125
per hour, father's
trial part of expense
DETROIT (AP) - The public
paid more than $1 million for the
yearslong legal defense of for-
mer Detroit Mayor Kwame Kil-
patrick and his father, according
to figures released Wednesday
by a federal court.
The Kilpatricks, like many
defendants in state and federal
court, qualified for attorneys at
the public's expense based on
their income and assets at the
time they were indicted.
Kwame Kilpatrick now is
serving a 28-year prison sen-
tence for corruption. His total
legal tab, including attorney fees
and other costs, was $813,806.
Slightly more than half of that
amount went to his longtime
lawyer, James Thomas.
Thomas said he was paid
$125 an hour, the rate for court-
appointed counsel in Detroit
federal court. The defense
began in summer 2010, when
Kilpatrick was first indicted
for tax crimes. Prosecutors fol-
lowed up with many additional
charges, including racketeering
conspiracy, and the five-month
trial didn't start until fall 2012.
Kilpatrick was convicted of a
sweeping scheme to enrich him-
self through bribes, kickbacks
and extortion. He quit office in
2008 over a different scandal.
Thomas said he had to put
many other cases on hold during
the Kilpatrick trial.
"I practice law at the very
highest level," he said.
"These were 18-hour days,
seven days a week for about six
months. A lawyer went into the
hospital for exhaustion," he
said, referring to an attorney
for co-defendant Bobby Fergu-
son. "It isn't about the money.
It's about doing a good job. ...
The government chose how to
charge this case. A racketeering
case is the most complex of all
Thomas said hundreds of
hours were not billed. All costs
had to be approved by court offi-
"This was a worthy effort,"
Four other Kilpatrick lawyers
were paid in the case, including
Thomas' partner, Michael Naugh-
ton, who received $260,625.
Bernard Kilpatrick's legal
costs added up to $352,777. His
attorney, John Shea, received
$224,957. The elder Kilpatrick
was convicted of a tax crime
and is serving a 15-month prison
The government's cost to
investigate and prosecute the
Kilpatricks is "difficult, if not
impossible, to measure," said Gina
Balaya, spokeswoman for the U.S.
Attorney's Office in Detroit.
"The salaries paid to the
prosecutors, paralegals, legal
assistants, agents and other
personnel who worked on this
case are fixed costs. They would
get paid the same regardless of
which case they are working
on," she said.
A woman with her mouth covered stands before a line of National Bolivarian Police preventing protesters from reaching
the national intelligence agency in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday.
fired shots into
crowd, killing at
least one student
collective, as militant supporters
of Venezuela's socialist adminis-
tration call themselves. National
Assembly President Diosdado
Cabello said the "revolutionary"
known by his nickname Juancho
was "vilely assassinated by the
fascists" but he didn't provide
Hawaiian bill would make the
ukelele the 'official' instrument
it to be a key part of
the state's culture
HONOLULU (AP) - Its frisky
four strings are the sound of
Elvis's "Blue Hawaii," of Tiny
Tim tiptoeing through the tulips
and lately, beyond all reason, of a
popular "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Above all, the humble ukulele
- dubbed "the underdog of all
instruments" by virtuoso Jake
Shimabukuro who busted out
his rendition of the aforemen-
tioned Queen classic in a recent
performance - sounds like
Lawmakers here are consid-
ering a bill that would dub the
ukulele the official state instru-
ment, a designation that seems
in some ways like a formal cer-
emony for a common-law mar-
"Denying this bill would be
like denying a significant part
of who we are," Ani Martiro-
sian Menon, a Honolulu resi-
dent by way of Los Angeles,
told a House committee hearing
She credited the instrument
with helpingher, and anyone else
who has ever come to Hawaii, to
understand the islands. "It's a
sincere melting pot," she said. "If
you've never been here before,
you're not going to know how
to adjust. The ukulele is a really
good entry point to connect with
the local culture."
Bette Midler belting out
"Ukulele Lady" on national
television, backed by a ukulele
choir, helped bring the instru-
ment's sound to the masses. But
the ukulele can seem ubiquitous
on the islands themselves. Visi-
tors hear ukuleles at Hawaiian
airports. Callers to state govern-
ment offices hear it paired with
a soothing steel guitar as hold
music - perhaps aimed at calm-
ing irate constituents.
A few states have designated
state instruments, but none is
so synonymous as the ukulele
to Hawaii. Texas called dibs on
the guitar. Louisiana put zydeco
ahead of jazz in honoring the
accordion. Missouri claimed
to the fiddle. But so did Arkan-
sas. And Oklahoma. And South
The ukulele and Hawaii are
a more distinct pairing. They're
so intertwined that when Jim
Tranquada, co-author with Jim
King of "The Ukulele: A His-
tory," was told of the bill, his
response was surprise - not
that Hawaii was so honoring the
ukulele, but that the state hadn't
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - details.
Armed vigilantes on motorcycles Maduro expressed regret for
attacked anti-government dem- the fatalities, which be blamed
onstrators Wednesday, setting off squarely on "fascist" groups that
a stampede by firing into crowds he said are conspiring to over-
after the biggest protest to date throw him. He said he ordered
against President Nicolas Madu- security forces to protect major
ro's year-old administration. Two cities and block any actions to
people were killed. destabilize the country.
Chaos erupted in downtown "Whoever goes out to pro-
Caracas when the gang roared up voke violence without a permit
and began shooting at more than to demonstrate will be detained,"
100 protesters who had been spar- Maduro said in a nationally tele-
ring with security forces at the vised address to commemorate
tail end of heated but otherwise the 200th anniversary of a key
peaceful protests organized by battle in Venezuela's war of inde-
hard-line members of the oppo- pendence.
sition. Most participants in the More than 30 anti-government
demonstrations had already gone protesters were arrested and
home. are being investigated for incit-
As people fled in panic, one ing violence, Interior Minister
demonstrator fell to the ground Miguel Rodriguez Torres said.
with a bullet wound in his head. About two dozen people were
Onlookers screamed "assassins" believed injured during the clash-
as they rushed the 24-year-old es and were being treated at hos-
marketing student to a police pitals, although the government
vehicle. He was later identified did not provide a tally of casual-
by family members as Bassil Da ties, said Inti Rodriguez, a mem-
Costa. ber of the human rights group
Also killed was the leader of a Provea.
pro-government 23rd of January The unrest comes on the heels
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BREAKFAST VoTE TODAY!
BEST OF ANN ARBOR 2014
of a wave of increasingly violent,
student-led protests that have
spread across Venezuela the past
two weeks. Their anger is being
fueled by frustration with Mad-
uro's handling of the inflation-
plagued economy, worsening
crime and humanrights concerns.
countered with a march of their
own Wednesday to express sup-
port for Maduro, who has accused
opponents of trying to violently
oust him from power just two
months after his party's candi-
dates prevailed by a landslide in
While anti-government dem-
onstrators vented frustration over
a range of issues they were united
in their resolve to force Maduro
out of office by constitutional
"All of these problems - short-
ages, inflation, insecurity, the lack
of opportunities - have a single
culprit: the government," Leop-
oldo Lopez, a Harvard Univer-
sity-trained former mayor, told
a crowd of about 10,000 people
gathered at Plaza Venezuela in
Lopez, who leads a faction
of the opposition that has chal-
lenged what it considers the meek
leadership of two-time presiden-
tial candidate Henrique Capriles,
called the protests "a moral and
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