Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department - FOX 35 News Orlando

Texts raise questions about power in Detroit's water department

Posted: Updated:

DETROIT -- Judging by Bobby Ferguson's text messages, he was more than one of Kwame Kilpatrick's best friends.  When it came to handing out contracts at the water department, he was the power behind the throne.

In one text message, it sounds like Ferguson is the boss.

Ferguson: I need Zeke to call Victor and tell him he wants to review recommendations for the downtown contractors prior to the final decision being made.

Kilpatrick: Cool.

Ferguson: You tell him sir, real soon.  They are trying to move fast.  Thank you.  Not rushing the boss.  Just don't want this to get by us.

Federal agent Carol Paszkiewicz read several texts that prosecutors say show Ferguson, Kilpatrick and top aide Derrick Miller, known as Zeke, jousting with Mercado and scheming to get Ferguson more work.

Pratap Rajadhyaksha testified Wednesday that he didn't like working with Ferguson, who he said often demanded more money, finished late and had some powerful friends.

He said that after one dispute, Ferguson told him, "You don't have to worry about the director.  You need to worry about me."

While he didn't like it, Rajadhyaksha says he learned to live with it because even Mercardo worried about keeping Bobby happy.

However, Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj got Rajadhyaksha to acknowledge that no one ever ordered him to hire Ferguson, and he tried to undermine his credibility by pointing out that the man who fired him from his engineering firm was his own brother.

Outside the courthouse, Rataj said he would raise more questions about the prosecution's witnesses on Thursday.

"You'll hear from me tomorrow when I cross examine Agent Paszkiewicz.  Can't wait," he said.

While Victor Mercado is on trial, too, the text messages we heard made him seem more like a victim than a co-conspirator.  Still, prosecutors have said he allowed Kilpatrick and Ferguson to rig contracts so he could keep making big bucks as the water department boss.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    All you need to know: Arts, Beats and Eats 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:44 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:44:11 GMT
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
    Celebrating its 17th year and returning to the bustling streets of Royal Oak from Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, Ford Arts, Beats Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank will entertain thousands of visitors from across the region with its outstanding music line-up, stellar arts programming, mouthwatering selection of food, and a number of new attractions this Labor Day weekend.
  • All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    All You Need to Know: Fifth Third Bank Michigan State Fair

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:56 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:56:12 GMT
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
    The Michigan State Fair is kicking off in Novi with carnival rides, circus shows and farm animals. Located off Grand River, the fair opens Friday Aug. 29 to Labor Day Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Detroit police believe three shootings gang-related

    Friday, August 29 2014 8:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 12:15:04 GMT
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
    In total there has been three shootings within 12 hours and two miles of each other - and police believe there is a connection.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices