10:11AM End of Chutkow.
10:08AM Where did the money come from? Investigators found a safe in a back office with $250,000 in cash. In another location, another safe owned by Ferguson, there was more cash. In 2008, when he was about to end his mayorship, his first order of business was to make sure that Ferguson got paid as soon as possible. Ferguson made a mistake by hiring an outsider to help with cash.
"Let's get us some money" "Can we eff with his permit?" "I'm about to kill this deal" This is extortion, bribery and fraud. They broke their oath to serve this city. It was the citizens of Detroit who got the short end of the stick. At the end of this case, we ask for guilty verdict.
9:53AM In this trial you will see a different side of Kwame, one behind closed doors. After city got wind of contracts, Kwame and Ferguson strategized how to hide their success. Christine Beatty "Why not Ferguson on this?"
Kwame "Ferguson wanted to purposefully lose this."
When a reporter asked about their relationship, Kwame told Ferguson "Don't confirm none of that"
Ferguson walked down the street with $40,000 in cash in his briefcase to give to the mayor.
Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson could not operate alone. They needed Victor Mercado. He was indispensable to the team. Mercado came through by holding up contracts. He ignored protections by rigging and steering bids to Ferguson. When a bid a Ferguson bid came in $2.5 million higher than a better qualified contractor, Mercado gave it to Ferguson. He lied about it to a judge. This is obstruction of justice.
Mercado received more than $240,000 a year. That was more than the mayor. He never told federal judge of wrong doing. He did hire a company to sweep his office for bugs.
The defendants had another partner, Bernard Kilpatrick. He did not act like an elder statesman. He did opposite and cut himself into the action.
Within months of his son getting elected, he held after hour business meetings at his office. Derrick Miller attended these meeting and will tell you it was about how to make the most money from the city.
Bernard like son deposited in bank accounts- more than $680,000 in cash.
Like Ferguson, there were consequences if he was not paid as he felt he should be. He felt Jim Rosendall had not paid him enough money.
Bernard on wiretap warning Rosendall "Yeah man this is BK. I appreciate a phone call. Vacation or no (expletive) vacation."
Rosendall eventually arrested by FBI and agreed to make tapes. Rosendall met Bernard and his associate at a restaurant and offered $250,000 in cash.
A video of Bernard is played saying why he didn't take the money. There are only three people in the city he trusts and the associate wasn't one of them he is clearly heard saying. Two of the thre people he trusts are in the courtroom today.
You will hear from a number of city officials and vendors who participated in this scheme. This case does not rise and fall on a single witness.
9:43AM Ferguson intimidated police officers and business men. This is extortion and its a federal crime. More than $60 million in city revenues. Early on, Kwame and Ferguson figured out the water department was the cash source for the city.
Ferguson told city sewer contractors that he wanted 25% of contract. Kwame held up contract so that Ferguson could make his move. Lakeshore declined so Victor Mercado gave the contract to someone else. Lakeshore lost a $10 million contract for not cutting Ferguson in. didn't make the same mistake on next contract.
"No deal without me" Ferguson didn't have to twist arms. City contractors had the message loud and clear. They had to pay Ferguson for no work. Invoices with false descriptions of work that never happened. after Lakeshore received invoice, Lakeshore paid it. Each time he came, they paid- in 2005, 2006 and 2007. In all, the made 12 payments for 1.2 million for no work done.
Many of jobs in city had Ferguson name on it.
Costly disasters weren't a setback for Ferguson and Kilpatrick but opportunity to make money. They would strategize- "We need to meet on how we move in."
Victor Mercado was to give Ferguson 50% of subcontracting working.
In 2006, Kwame Kilpatrick's power over water department terminated. Having failed to keep his power, he had the judge authorize 5 more contracts, 4 of them were Ferguson's.
9:35AM Ferguson: "I'm famous now- just need to get some money"