Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department - FOX 32 News Chicago

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.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Jury acquits man in Eastern Michigan football player death

    Jury acquits man in Eastern Michigan football player death

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:32:20 GMT
    A jury has acquitted a man in the robbery-slaying of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.
    A jury has acquitted a man in the robbery-slaying of Eastern Michigan University football player Demarius Reed.
  • Dearborn man charged with torture, murder of sister

    Dearborn man charged with torture, murder of sister

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:10:00 GMT
    A Dearborn woman is dead and her own brother is behind bars charged with her murder.What happened in the 7500 block of Bingham street Saturday, still has neighbors wondering, 'why.'"I wept, I cried, it's horrible," said neighbor Virginia Leonard.A brother allegedly strangled his own sister, stabbed her several times, and eventually killing her"I'm sure it's a very horrible thing for that family," Leonard said. "Not only did the parents lose a daughter, they lost basically a son too, and it's ...
    A Dearborn woman is dead and her own brother is behind bars charged with her murder.What happened in the 7500 block of Bingham street Saturday, still has neighbors wondering, 'why.'"I wept, I cried, it's horrible," said neighbor Virginia Leonard.A brother allegedly strangled his own sister, stabbed her several times, and eventually killing her"I'm sure it's a very horrible thing for that family," Leonard said. "Not only did the parents lose a daughter, they lost basically a son too, and it's ...
  • Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Charges to be determined after teen dies in car crash

    Monday, July 28 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-07-28 23:59:07 GMT
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
    Seven teenagers were on their way back from a bonfire late Friday night. A 16-year-old girl was behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition with her mom also in the car.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

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