“He’s happy to be home with his wife and his family and all of his kids. When you’re locked up for eight years, you’re breathing fresh air. It’s certainly a relief,” said Michael Rataj with Ferguson’s defense team.
“It takes a lot of judicial courage to do what Judge Edmonds did, which I think speaks volumes about the kind of judge that she is. And we’re very grateful for the decision that she did make.”
This release three months after former President Donald Trump commuted the 28-year sentence of Detroit ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Rataj said it should have been a package deal.
“I didn’t feel that it was fair. But clearly, the commutation of Kilpatrick sentence created a sentencing disparity that couldn’t be countenanced by the court,” he said.
Ferguson was a contractor under Kilpatrick. Both were accused of running a criminal enterprise through the mayor’s office by corrupting contracts. Ferguson was convicted of racketeering, bribery, and extortion and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
“To blame Kilpatrick and Ferguson for the demise of the city of Detroit is just flat out, wrong. If you look at the kinds of sentences that people receive for public corruption cases, go look and see what Trump did for Manafort, and Roger Stone and Flynn, and the rest of those guys,” he said. “Those clients were a lot more serious than the crimes that Kilpatrick and Ferguson committed, and what happened with them, they got a pass. So look at that and then come and talk to me.”