March 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

Kilpatrick, dad discussed city

In text messages to ex-mayor, father offers support, references clients and contracts.

K. Kilpatrick )

DETROIT -- Business consultant Bernard N. Kilpatrick discussed contracts with his son, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, and at one point addressed the mayor as Michael Corleone, the son of "the Godfather" mafia boss in the famous movie series, newly released text messages show.

The text messages released Monday also include an exchange in which then-deputy corporation counsel Brenda Braceful expressed concern about former city official Cylenthia Miller "trying 2 get brownie points at our expense" in connection with an FBI investigation in 2003.

"What is FBI Dave's number??" Corporation Counsel Ruth Carter texted Braceful on June 4, 2003. "Then, let's have a beat down on Cylenthia!"

"Cylenthia is full of s---!" Braceful texted back, "I have been talking 2 Agent Brooks and he picked up files ... CLM is trying 2 get brownie points at our expense!!!"

At the time, Miller was director of the city's employment and training department. She and Carter are now 36th District Court judges and both declined comment Tuesday. David Brooks was a special agent in the FBI's Detroit field office and could not be reached. Braceful, who lost her law license in 2008 for mishandling client funds and now works in the city's human resources department, did not return calls.

It's not clear from the messages what the probe related to, but The Detroit News reported in 2005 that the FBI investigated the employment and training department's lease of a building on Rosa Parks after a city-commissioner forensic audit in 2003 identified $1.5 million in apparent overcharges.

The text messages are among thousands released Monday by order of a Wayne County judge after prosecutors filed them in earlier criminal proceedings related to Kilpatrick and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty. The contractor, godfather and FBI references are interesting in the context of an ongoing federal investigation of the Kilpatrick administration.

Bernard Kilpatrick, who used the text handle "Ziz.," frequently played the role of a supportive father in the text messages, sending flowers to his daughter-in-law, Carlita Kilpatrick, and supportive notes to Beatty and Carter.

"Go 'head, michael corleone," Bernard Kilpatrick texted his son on May 16, 2003. "The press h(a)s a noticeable different tone ... i saw my little interview on fox, came out o.k. i am out of here ... see you tuesday."

Bernard Kilpatrick sent the text message amid media coverage of a news conference a day earlier at which the mayor denounced former Detroit Police Chief Gary Brown for violating his trust, amid reports Kilpatrick sacked Brown for investigating a rumored bawdy party involving strippers at the mayor's Manoogian Mansion. Bernard Kilpatrick and other family members attended the news conference as a show of support for the mayor.

Brown later won part of an $8.4 million city settlement following a 2007 whistle-blower trial that would lead to the text message scandal and Kilpatrick's downfall.

The FBI is investigating payments to Bernard Kilpatrick's consulting firm, Maestro Associates, by contractors who were seeking city work.

In a reference to one of his clients, Bernard Kilpatrick on Aug. 1, 2003, texted Kilpatrick: "DO YOU WANT RUNCO OR JOHN FRANCIS TO CALL THE WASTE Management FOLK? SEND ME THE NAME AND #."

Lawyers attempted to depose Bernard Kilpatrick in an Oakland County divorce case involving Capital Waste Inc. CEO John Runco because of Kilpatrick's business ties to the company, court records show. Francis is another Capital Waste official.

On Aug. 12, 2003, Bernard Kilpatrick texted his son about a Detroit Public Schools contract. "by the way, did you and (former DPS CEO Kenneth) burnley talk about kirk's deal?" Bernard Kilpatrick asked. "(Former DPS Deputy CEO) Bob moore is against it, I hear..."

Kirkland Dudley, convicted in federal court in Detroit in February of an unrelated $1 million fraud, had technology companies involved in DPS contracts. The mayor's father also talked to Kilpatrick about cutting a friend in on a real estate deal involving rap star Eminem, the text messages show.

"HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE T(O) TALK TO EMINEM'S GUY ABOUT BUYING THAT CLUB YET?" Bernard Kilpatrick texted his son on Aug. 5, 2003. "ARCHIE WANTS TO BE THE MIDDLEMAN..HIS COUSIN OWNS THE BLDG."

Ecorse businessman Archie Clark, a close friend of Bernard Kilpatrick's, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Bernard Kilpatrick did not return calls.

You can reach Paul Egan at (313) 222-2069 or pegan@detnews.com">pegan@detnews.com.

B. Kilpatrick
Cox