Did Mercado do things to help Ferguson and did mayor remove Posen?
Thomas objects. Chutkow moves on.
Looking at text from Bobby to Kwame: "Victor is full of shit he told me the ordinance didn't let him throw Posen out. that's a damn lie. we will talk tonight," this text was introduced yesterday and it's a 3-way with Miller.
Looking at text from April 1st 2004, 2 days later, from Mercado to Kwame:
"Just thought of something trying to locate evaluations on contracts from city depts to see for grounds. Also may look into delaying work. hopefully we will have more info tomorrow."
On to Rataj's questions about Ferguson not being able to get a leg up for the job, you got cut off. What's your answer? Witness says I answered no because the city procurement process is to submit a bid and prior performance is an expect of that. He has to compete just like everyone else. Surely pilot would have factored in.
Did one contractor get delayed? That was Ferguson Enterprises Inc.
Witness reads from document "I concur with DLZ's recommendation to the lowest 3 bids and reject the others" for being 40 to 156% higher than the lowest responsive bid. This was on March 19th 2004 between Awni Qaqish and Mercado.
Rataj asked you about Ferguson being committed to helping minority contractors? Yes.
Did you see evidence of Ferguson actually hurting minority contractors? Yes.
That included lost or cancelled contracts for minority businesses, payments to Ferguson by minority contracts for work he didn't do. and instances where Ferguson where he favored minority businesses into contracts with him? Yes.
Nigerian who ran JOA Construction? Yes.
Hayes was involved in 2012? Yes.
Rataj talked about texts being about black people in general. Ferguson didn't say "our" people to Kwame in texts but "my" people? That is correct.
Text from Bobby to Kwame" Your welcome boss. Just left Victor date has been changed to my benefit but we still have problem on the big one...he thinks he is slick man with those white folks..."
On same day, March 1th 2004, memo from Daniel Edwards to Mehta at DLZ. Hayes has already completed the contract but Ferguson has asked for an extension.
Judge stops to address question from juror.
Did you investigation whether Tom Hardiman of A & H contractors suffered to preferential treatment to Ferguson? His business did.
Is he a minority and is his business? Yes.
Is he the next witness in this case? Yes.
12:55PM Crandall back to re cross.
You indicated there were other communications between Ferguson and Mercado? Phone calls yes.
Often from documents from phone companies you can't tell there was an actual conversation? That's correct
So for jury's benefit if you are wire tapping my phone, you are listening to me talk, but if you just get phone records can determine if anything or what was said? My answer would be if someone called and got voice mail and hung up then there would be no conversation.
So telephone records don't tell you if there is dialogue? Correct.
Mercado was never picked up on title 3? you would have to ask Beeckman of the FBI.
How many texts of the hundreds of thousands were there between Mercado and Ferguson? I did that search.
Zero? Zero repeats witness. I'm not sure.
Judge interrupts. Is it your point because it's 1pm that you don't know. Yes says witness.
Are you almost done Mr. Crandall or should we excuse the witness. Crandall says he'll continue tomorrow.
1:01PM 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.