Two days later, on March 18th 2004, Mercado approved the recommendation to take the lowest bidders.
That did not sit well with Ferguson and Kilpatrick. That very day, March 18th 2004, Ferguson texted Kilpatrick:"Your welcome boss. Just left Victor. Date has been changed to my benefit but we still have a problem on the big one. He thinks he is slick man with this white folks." Agent Paszkiewicz explained that the "big one" referred to contract CM 2012, "boss" was a nickname for Kilpatrick and the "slick man" designated was Mercado.
To which Kilpatrick replied: "His slick sh%$ is running out. I got his ass on something. I ain't happy."
Five days later, on March 23rd 2004, Ferguson texted Kilpatrick: "Victor just outsmarted us. He made me come to his office. Thought it was about job we have but it was about 3 lowest bidders. White folks."
And finally, in a three-way exchange between Ferguson, Kilpatrick and aide Derrick Miller on March 30th 2004, Ferguson texted "Victor is ful of sh$%. He told me the ordinance didn't let him throw Posen out. That is a damn lie. We will talk tonight." Posen Construction was the lowest bidder on the CM 2012 contracts.
Ultimately Ferguson got his way and Ferguson Enterprises was awarded contracts WS 650 and WS 651 under CM 2012. The two contracts garnered Ferguson a total of $6.9 million.
Earlier on the day, former DLZ Chief Operating Officer Pratap Rajadhyaksha testified that Mercado indicated to the witness early on that he wanted Ferguson to get some of the work on CM 2012. He also testified that Mercado did not make this recommendation for any other contractors.
Rajadhyaksha told the court that Ferguson's company requested an unusually high amount of change orders and was the most difficult of all the contractors to work with on the downtown project, requiring a full 50% of DLZ's time to manage them. After DLZ reported their problems with Ferguson Enterprises to Mercado, the witness received a call from a furious Ferguson. When Rajadhyaksha told him he had a responsibility to keep Mercado informed, Ferguson yelled "Don't worry about the director. You need to worry about me."
The witness said he ended the conversation by hanging up on Ferguson and they never spoke again.
Court reconvenes tomorrow at 9AM.
About the author:
Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.