Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department - KMSP-TV

Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department

Posted: Updated:

DETROIT -- Judging by Bobby Ferguson's text messages, he was more than one of Kwame Kilpatrick's best friends.  When it came to handing out contracts at the water department, he was the power behind the throne.

In one text message, it sounds like Ferguson is the boss.

Ferguson: I need Zeke to call Victor and tell him he wants to review recommendations for the downtown contractors prior to the final decision being made.

Kilpatrick: Cool.

Ferguson: You tell him sir, real soon.  They are trying to move fast.  Thank you.  Not rushing the boss.  Just don't want this to get by us.

Federal agent Carol Paszkiewicz read several texts that prosecutors say show Ferguson, Kilpatrick and top aide Derrick Miller, known as Zeke, jousting with Mercado and scheming to get Ferguson more work.

Pratap Rajadhyaksha testified Wednesday that he didn't like working with Ferguson, who he said often demanded more money, finished late and had some powerful friends.

He said that after one dispute, Ferguson told him, "You don't have to worry about the director.  You need to worry about me."

While he didn't like it, Rajadhyaksha says he learned to live with it because even Mercardo worried about keeping Bobby happy.

However, Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj got Rajadhyaksha to acknowledge that no one ever ordered him to hire Ferguson, and he tried to undermine his credibility by pointing out that the man who fired him from his engineering firm was his own brother.

Outside the courthouse, Rataj said he would raise more questions about the prosecution's witnesses on Thursday.

"You'll hear from me tomorrow when I cross examine Agent Paszkiewicz.  Can't wait," he said.

While Victor Mercado is on trial, too, the text messages we heard made him seem more like a victim than a co-conspirator.  Still, prosecutors have said he allowed Kilpatrick and Ferguson to rig contracts so he could keep making big bucks as the water department boss.

  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Detroit councilwoman wants transparency on tinted window issue

    Detroit councilwoman wants transparency on tinted window issue

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:12:02 GMT
    After months of trying to get Detroit City Council woman Mary Sheffield to call back, she finally reached out - but not to answer questions, to call Fox 2 out.
    After months of trying to get Detroit City Council woman Mary Sheffield to call back, she finally reached out - but not to answer questions, to call Fox 2 out.
  • Why do some Detroit council members have tinted front windows?

    Why do some Detroit council members have tinted front windows?

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:27:50 GMT
    A recent report from Fox 2's M.L. Elrick about Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield sparked some interesting response from viewers. Several of you raised the question via emailed or by commenting on social media as to why her front windows were tinted.
    A recent report from Fox 2's M.L. Elrick about Detroit City Councilwoman Mary Sheffield sparked some interesting response from viewers. Several of you raised the question via emailed or by commenting on social media as to why her front windows were tinted.
  • Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off 20th year

    Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off 20th year

    Friday, August 15 2014 10:44 PM EDT2014-08-16 02:44:42 GMT
    The 20th Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off Saturday showcasing thousands of classic cars.Fox 2's resident classic car enthusiast M. L. Elrick took to the streets with his 1962 Pontiac Tempest to experience the ride firsthand.
    The 20th Woodward Dream Cruise kicks off Saturday showcasing thousands of classic cars.Fox 2's resident classic car enthusiast M. L. Elrick took to the streets with his 1962 Pontiac Tempest to experience the ride firsthand.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices