DETROIT – If you're eyeing a run for Detroit mayor, you probably don't want your name to be mentioned by the prosecution in Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption trial.
But that's just what happened to Mike Duggan on Thursday.
In undercover tapes, Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, talks about Duggan.
Duggan is a former Wayne County prosecutor and CEO of the Detroit Medical Center.
In a phone interview with Local 4, Duggan said he was shocked to learn of the conversations.
His attorneys rushed to pick up a transcript to see what Bernard Kilpatrick had said to James Rosendall about Duggan and former Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara illegally carving out corners of contracts – like the infamous Synagro deal.
Rosendall was a witness for the federal government Thursday. He says he repeatedly paid cash to Bernard Kilpatrick to protect a $1 billion deal between Detroit and Synagro Technologies.
The Houston company was hired in 2007 to recycle wastewater sludge and build an incinerator. But the deal collapsed when it was disclosed that Rosendall paid bribes to win council approval.
He pleaded guilty in 2009.
"It certainly was a surprise. There is not truth to it. I have always operated by the book and always will," Duggan said. "Bernard Kilpatrick was trying to get payment out of a client. Nothing like that [what was described in the transcript] ever occurred."
Duggan said he left the Wayne County Executive's office 13 years ago and hasn't ever been accused of taking money from anyone.
"I think people will see it for what it is," he said.
His courtroom mention won't stop his goal.
"I am campaigning all day, every day. This will have no effect on my run for mayor," he said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office released the following statement Thursday evening:
"We have received inquiries about tape recordings that were played in court today in the trial of U.S. v. Kilpatrick, et al. The recordings mentioned several public officials by name. Over the course of this four-month trial, the names of dozens of public officials and business leaders have been mentioned. References to their names in no way mean that they have done anything wrong."