DETROIT (WXYZ) - The feds took their first shot at Bobby Ferguson this summer, and the 43-year-old friend of Kwame Kilpatrick is still standing.
In June, after a six-week trial, Ferguson walked away from all eight criminal charges the government threw at him, including bid-rigging, dumping waste on government property and illegally possessing a firearm, thanks to one holdout juror. On most counts, jurors voted 10 to one to convict the former city contractor.
For their second crack at Ferguson, the US Attorney is charging him with eight counts of extortion, two counts of bribery and one count of racketeering conspiracy. They say Ferguson shook down other contractors, rigged city bids and shared the ill-gotten haul with his partners, including kicking back lots of cash to Kilpatrick.
Text message exchanges between Ferguson and his friend the ex-mayor, like the one below, played a key role in the government's case:
"I am famous now, just need to get some money," Ferguson wrote to Kilpatrick.
"LOL! Right. Let's get you some," the ex-mayor responded.