DETROIT – Victor Mercado has been sentenced to two years probation and 8 months in a halfway house for his part in the Kilpatrick Enterprise RICO crimes.
Mercado, who was director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department under former mayor/current federal inmate Kwame Kilpatrick, had been indicted alongside Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson, Bernard Kilpatrick, and Derrick Miller.
However, Mercado pleaded guilty to conspiracy in November 2012. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, but he gets a lesser sentence under the terms of his plea deal. Prosecutors were asking for an 18-month prison sentence for Mercado, while he was hoping to get probation. He also was sentenced to 1 day in jail, which he's already served.
He was choked up Wednesday when he addressed federal Judge Nancy Edmunds.
"I am sorry for what I did ... I apologize to you and the city of Detroit," he said.
Edmunds said Mercado was played and used as a tool. She said he was manipulated by Kilpatrick and Ferguson, who reaped millions on water and sewer contracts.
The judge said it was clear Mercado went along with what Kilpatrick wanted to keep his salary, which was $240,000 a year.
Mercado had admitted to helping the former mayor rig lucrative public contract bids, largely for Ferguson's benefit.
Kilpatrick, who resigned from office in 2008 after pleading guilty to perjury, was convicted of numerous federal felonies and sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2013.
Derrick Miller will be sentenced on May 29. He's known Kilpatrick since childhood and testified against him at trial.