Back in business: 

Time for the government and federal prosecutor Mark Chutkow is again questioning Thomas Hardiman. 

He asked one question and now Hardiman is done! 

He’s left the courtroom. 

Next witness: 

Avinash Rachmale

Chairman of Lakeshore

Rachmale

10:29 AM: Did you know Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick? 

Rachamale says he supported the mayor, helping him get elected and served on team to help the mayor get up to speed on the massive Detroit Water Department and it’s needs. 

Rachmale is a “big fish” testifying for the government today.

He started his water contracting company and it has grown into a massive company that has offices in many countries working in water engineering and environmental work.

It’s based on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

Rachmale and Lakeshore actually took over a vacant building. 

Rachmale gave a $25,000 check to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. 

The jury is now being shown a photo of a sewer under Jefferson Avenue leading to Gross Point.

It’s sewage and storm water line that is twenty feet wide. It’s a huge, old and crumbling in this photo.

The water is taken right out to the Detroit river. 

This is to show the scope of Rachmale’s hard work and expertise, improving a massive water project like this for the people of Detroit.

Rachmale is a self made businessman and engineer. He’s expected to testify that he and his company became of victim of Kwame Kilpatrick & Bobby Ferguson’s alleged scheme to get rich off of the hard work of people like him. 

The indictment reads that Rachmale’s company was allegedly extorted by Ferguson to the tune of more than $12 million dollars.

Rachmale’s former partner, Thomas Hardiman already testified that he eventually went along with that extortion because Lakeshore was scared that if they didn’t play ball with Ferguson, that Ferguson would stop them from getting any more work from the city. 

The contracts Lakeshore did get from Detroit and it’s taxpayers are in the tens of millions of dollars to work on Detroit Water and Sewerage Department improvements.

10:46 AM: The Kwame Kilpatrick trial is taking it’s morning break.

So far, Avinash Rachmale, founder of the giant water engineering and contracting firm Lakeshore is on the stand.