9:15 a.m. This morning’s session is off to a late start. Long lines at the
security check-in are to blame. That’s why I get here early! Would hate to be late for court.
Now it appears all parties have reached the courtroom and the judge is speaking to the attorneys in a “sidebar” session before the jury is brought in. The judge called the sidebar. We can’t hear these discussions so it will be interesting to hear if the judge addresses what the topic is in open court.
Thomas Hardiman, a contractor was on the stand for hours yesterday and is expected back at least for a little while this morning.
Perhaps the judge is encouraging the defense attorneys to move on from Hardiman as quickly as they can. It’s not a secret that she appeared to grow a bit frustrated as Gerald Evelyn, attorney for Bobby Ferguson questioned Hardiman for a long time Tuesday.
People from Serbia visitors are in the courtroom and the judge is giving them a warm welcome.
Attorney for Bobby Ferguson is again questioning contractor Thomas Hardiman in rapid-fire fashion. He’s questioning him about a lawsuit filed against his son’s company for allegedly not paying subcontractors. Evelyn is asking the questions as fast as he can and Hardiman is saying that he turns all legal matters over to his attorneys and doesn’t remember every issue that comes up A&V Contractors filed suit against A&H Contractors along with Ferguson Enterprises for breach of contract. Hardiman says he does not recall this suit.
This is a 2009 suit filed by A&V Services in Shelby Township. Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson look bored stiff during this line of questioning. Evelyn is asking questions about Hardiman’s son, Johnny and about his son’s business dealings. Now Evelyn is showing an invoice. Evelyn is suggesting that Ferguson covered one of the bills that his son owed. Evelyn is asking Hardiman that after Ferguson paid the bill, did Ferguson ever threaten to pull any of Hardiman’s contracts with the city in retaliation for covering from his son. Hardiman says he does not remember Ferguson ever making such threats.
Hardiman says his company, Lakeshore won a $10 Million contract and a $5 Million dollar contact.
The contract was "on hold" and then after he had a conversation with Ferguson the contracts were cancelled. Hardiman’s former company Lakeshore praises it’s partnership with Bobby Ferguson: Lakeshore protested the bid with the city of Detroit finance department.
Lakeshore sent a letter in December of 2009 to the city to complain that the board of water commissioners made a mistake in awarding two big contracts to one firm. This was a sewer project the city put out for bid. Evelyn is asking Hardiman to read the letter aloud.
The letter is signed:
THOMAS E. HARDIMAN SR.
CHAIRMAN, LAKESHORE GROUP
These two are engaging in a rather difficult conversation. Evelyn asks Hardiman specific questions about minute details about this letter, who wrote it, who brought it to him, asking if he read the letter before he signed it. Answers aren’t coming easy. Hardiman will answer "I'm not sure who wrote it." "I trust whoever wrote it.” The two spar over the smallest details and, again, it’s a testy exchange. The protest letter reads that one company got a $40 million city water contract and Hardiman’s company called that “unprecedented and not in the best interest of the City of Detroit."
D’Allesandro company got the contract.
Evelyn is asking why the letter states the wrong title for Hardiman. It reads "chairman" and Hardiman says he was the chair of the "advisory board." Did Hardiman or Lakeshore misrepresent his position when they complained to the city about these massive contracts?
If so, did it have any benefit or impact?
Dave Bing was mayor of Detroit at the time of this contract protest, not Kilpatrick. Another letter is being shown addressed to Mary Blackmon, President of the Board of Water Commissioners. Hardiman signed it, but he says someone else wrote the letter. The letter is signed:
Chairman of the Lakeshore Group