Text messages key to case against ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

Prosecutors asking judge to allow messages during Kilpatrick's scheduled trial on accusations of kickbacks, bribes

DETROIT - Federal prosecutors say nearly 370,000 text messages comprise a large chunk of their public corruption case against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Prosecutors say the text message trove is "central to a number of the charges" against Kilpatrick and three other men. The messages were obtained through subpoenas sent to the City of Detroit's text-messaging provider during Kilpatrick's tenure as mayor.

Prosecutors are asking U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds to allow the text messages during the trial scheduled for September.

The indictment describes a brazen pay-to-play scheme in which the Kilpatricks took kickbacks and bribes to steer city business to certain contractors.

The case also involves Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, his friend, contractor Bobby Ferguson, and the city's former water department director, Victor Mercado.

All have pleaded not guilty.

Texts regarding 2004 Book Cadillac renovation

Ferguson to Kilpatrick: "I am famous now. Just need to get some money."

Kilpatrick: "Lol! Right. Lets get you some."

Ferguson: "Us."

Ferguson allegedly demands 34% of contract

Ferguson: "There's a new boy in town ... this isn't like when you called somebody up with (a former Detroit mayor) and gave him 20% and we went away."

Kilpatrick now lives in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Ferguson is on trial on bid-rigging charges.

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