Jury controversy brewing in Bobby Ferguson bid-rigging case

Defense wants more racially diverse jury

DETROIT - A controversy over race could be brewing in the trail for longtime friend and business associate to ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson.

Ferguson is charged with fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. He's accused of obtaining millions of dollars in public works contracts through false statements and bid collusion.

He's also accused of making false statements in a proposal as part of the Garden View Estates project, a public housing development in Detroit.

Local 4 has learned that an African-American woman has been kicked off the jury, leaving only one other African-American on the panel.

The defense is asking for a juror pool do-over, saying Ferguson deserves a jury that is racially diverse.

As of Friday, the seated jury was: 10 white people, one man from Detroit, who is being described as having tan skin but his race isn't clear and one African-American woman.

A judge on Monday will decide whether the jury selection process will start over again.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade is defending the jury selection process.

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