Feds want former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado to get 18 months in prison

WXYZ (DETROIT) - Federal prosecutors say they want Detroit's former water and sewerage department director Victor Mercado to spend 18 months behind bars, according to a court sentencing document filed with the court today.

Mercado ran the city water department for six years, and was later indicted along with former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, city contractor Bobby Ferguson and Kilpatrick's father Bernard Kilpatrick for racketeering and other charges.

In 2012, while the corruption trial was still going on, Mercado pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, and agreed to spend up to 18 months in prison. Mercado is the last the main defendants in the Detroit city hall corruption trial to be sentenced.

The government is pushing for the maximum sentence, arguing that Mercado manipulated bids for city contracts to favor Ferguson, a friend of Kilpatrick's. Mercado's lawyer's argued that he only deserves probation, saying he already suffered personal ruin and will never recover. It says Mercado, who was fired from another water job in Texas after he was indicted, is working as a floor clerk in a Florida home improvement store.

Mercado is scheduled to be sentenced next week.