On the witness stand, Kim Harris -- Chief compliance officer, Detroit Human Rights Department
He’s being questioned by U.S Attorney Michael Bullotta.
They’re discussing the May, 2006 conversation Harris had with his then boss, Gerard Grant Phillips with Detroit’s “Human Rights Department.”
Phillips was talking to Harris about “pulling DLZ’s water department contract.”
“He was kind of nervous. He walked around in circles. He seemed nervous and fidgety.” Harris testified.
Bullotta: “By pulling, you felt the contract process was being tampered with?”
5/16/06 The city had the number one ranking over 6 other contractors, meaning it was the top pick for the city to award a water department contract to.
It was ranked to be the best use of the city’s money it collected from water bill payments from residents and tax money.
Harris says he was told to yank the certification of DLZ that gave it points for being a “Detroit Based Company.”
DLZ is headquartered in Ohio, but Detroit found that it also could be considered “Detroit based.” It is also a minority-owned company. DLZ has a local office as well.
DLZ was certified by the Human Rights Department of the city of Detroit as a “Detroit Based Business.”
Once DLZ had it’s status yanked, it dropped in the rankings and a firm connected to Bobby Ferguson got the contract.
Harris testified yesterday that his boss told him “The mayor wants it done.”
Harris says the certification for DLZ was pulled, the contract was lost.
Later, the certification was then reinstated. Detroit again saw DLZ as “Detroit based.”
Harris says he wanted no part of what was going on with DLZ:
“It was just getting too goofy. The certificate was being revoked and then reinstated without any explanation.”
Did you feel comfortable being a part of that? Harris: “No I didn’t.”
Harris says his boss reported to the Mayor and if the Mayor wanted to pull the certification of a company that boss could not stop then mayor Kilpatrick.
A document is being shown that DLZ was in the lead for the contract.
The final tally: DLZ dropped to 3rd and was not awarded the contract. Number one? DCI/Xcell, Bobby Ferguson’s company and Lakeshore. Lakeshore’s founder says he brought Ferguson on to jobs to make sure his company got contracts.
Jim Thomas/Attorney for Kilpatrick
2/1/2006 Certification that DLZ had a Detroit Headquartered