DETROIT - More text messages were revealed in the Kilpatrick corruption case Tuesday.
FBI Special Agent Robert Beeckman spent much of the day on the witness stand in the Kilpatrick corruption case – showing more text messages to the 16 jurors.
Federal prosecutors are trying to show that the company Walbridge Aldinger was forced to include Kwame Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson in a $73 Million water department contract.
Detroit’s former mayor, his father, and Ferguson are on trial, accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall.
Previous witnesses told the jury that former Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller told Walbridge representatives that Ferguson needed to be in on the deal.
On Tuesday, Agent Beeckman showed the jury a text message exchange between Kilpatrick and Ferguson in which Ferguson asked the former mayor for help with the Walbridge project known as Baby Creek.
Ferguson writes to Kilpatrick: “I told you I would call on you when I need help, help, [expletive] victor, I don’t need DWSD to set in on the bid opening.”
During cross examination, Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj tried to fight text messages that show Ferguson complaining that Walbridge wanted a 5% fee on the Baby Creek project. Rataj tried to get Beeckman to admit that Walbridge wanted $500,000 to do nothing. Beeckman would not agree.
Federal prosecutors used a hand-written contract to show that Ferguson Enterprises was listed as a subcontractor, and used Beeckman to tell the jury its standard practice for a prime contractor like Walbridge to take 5% from a sub.
Outside court, Rataj was intent on complying with a new order from the judge limiting the lawyers from talking much about the witnesses in the case.
“We’re getting down to the short strokes. She… wants this case decided in the courtroom not out on the street, so we’re going to respect that,” said Rataj.
Meanwhile, the government’s case is winding down, and the defense teams are preparing to call some witnesses of their own.
“We’re ready to roll when they’re – when they’re ready to rest,” said Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer John Shea.
A different federal agent took the stand near the end of the day Tuesday – so they’ll resume with her testimony Wednesday. At the point, it looks like the focus will stay on Mr. Ferguson for bit.
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