Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

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>>

  • Jimmy Buffett returns to Comerica Park on July 26

    Jimmy Buffett returns to Comerica Park on July 26

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:23 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:23:48 GMT
    Jimmy Buffett will take the stage once again this summer at Detroit's Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment announced Thursday that Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will play one night only on Saturday, July 26 with special guest John Fogerty.
    Jimmy Buffett will take the stage once again this summer at Detroit's Comerica Park. Olympia Entertainment announced Thursday that Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band will play one night only on Saturday, July 26 with special guest John Fogerty.
  • Body found in Lake Erie, crews look for 3 missing

    Body found in Lake Erie, crews look for 3 missing

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:15 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:15:54 GMT
    The U.S. Coast Guard says the body of a missing boater has been found in Lake Erie and they're continuing to search for three others off the Ohio shoreline.
    The U.S. Coast Guard says the body of a missing boater has been found in Lake Erie and they're continuing to search for three others off the Ohio shoreline.
  • Police: Break-in suspect shot, dies after crash

    Police: Break-in suspect shot, dies after crash

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:54 AM EDT2014-04-17 14:54:57 GMT
    Detroit police say a break-in suspect who was shot by homeowner has died after crashing a getaway vehicle into a nearby home on the city's west side.
    Detroit police say a break-in suspect who was shot by homeowner has died after crashing a getaway vehicle into a nearby home on the city's west side.
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

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