Did you pay that money, the prosecution asks.

Rachamale: “Yes.” 

Ferguson got a $75,000 fee for a simple asbestos job Lakeshore won from the city of Detroit. Money for not working on the job. 

Prosecution: “When you received payments from the city, that’s when you’d pay Mr. Ferguson?”

Rachmale: “Yes.’ 

Rachmales says Ferguson never alerted him that payments were “due.”

Prosecution: “Why did you pay him $75,000?”

Rachmale: “We did not want any of our work to be stopped. We did not want any of our contracts to be stopped.”

Prosecution: “Why did you think he could stop contracts?”

Rachmale: “We had lost two contracts. We did not want to create any issue with Ferguson.”

Now, we’re moving to a new water department contract from the city of Detroit valued at $15 million.

Lakeshore sent in bids to get the contracts.

The contract was for various “water system improvements” throughout the city of Detroit.

Lakeshore’s bid included subcontractors:

Willie McCormick & Associates

D’Agostini & Sons

A&H Contracting


Spalding Decker

Soma Engineering

E&T Trucking

The kind of work we’re talking about is what we see in Detroit every day:

A crew digging up a street to reach the water main and replace or repair the water main, pipes and equipment and then put the street back together.

All of these companies are minority owned in Detroit.

Rachmale says it’s a voluntary, not mandatory goal of his to hire minority contractors.