Attorney shifts defense as Bob Carmack land deal case proceeds

The twists and turns of a land deal turned fraud charge continue.

As banners flew over Comerica Park criticizing Mayor Mike Duggan, the man behind them was in court for another day of cross examination. The issue at play is the legitimacy of a transaction between Bob Carmack and the city of Detroit regarding an expensive piece of land.

"You've seen occasions where property's been conveyed that maybe it's not necessarily the property valuable you would think it would be, correct?" asked Defense Attorney Steven Haney.

"Correct," responded Michael Cuschieri, the land record executive.

"Because that's between the buyer and the seller, correct?" Haney asked again.

"Correct," Cuschieri responded.

"And in this particular instance, this deed says that proper and fair consideration was conveyed and is approved by the director of finance at the city of Detroit, isn't that right?" said Harney.

"It does say that," said Cuschieri.

"And in fact, it even says that this deed was approved by the city council, doesn't it?" asked Harney.

"Yes sir," said Cuschieri.

The testimony is dense, but it's key to the dynamic case. Carmack purchased land from Detroit 10 years ago, before selling it for $1 million. The city alleges Carmack never gave them money for the deal, however his defense is now arguing you can pay for land through other means.

Carmack argues he received the land through another deal that fell through.

"I don't have to do anything," Haney told reporters. "I can sit through and have my client do nothing. I don't have the burden of proof, the government does and they are failing miserably."

However, when the prosecutor asked Cuschieri about his thoughts regarding the deal, he said his understanding was the city would be paid by traditional means.

"My expectation would be the city of Detroit received $250,000," he said.

Whatever is decided, it'll be done via Cylenthia Latoye-Miller, of the 36th District Court. She'll listen to one more day of testimony before deciding whether the case should go to a jury.

"I will ultimately be able to separate the wheat from the chaff," she said.