Former Detroit city contractor Bobby Ferguson ordered to pay $6.2 million in restitution
1:11 PM, Jan 9, 2014
11:40 AM, Jan 10, 2014
$6.2 Million: that's how much money Bobby Ferguson has to pay back to the Detroit Water Department.
The former city contractor is now serving a 21 year sentence in federal prison after a jury convicted Ferguson and his friend, ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, of racketeering, bribery and other charges.
On Thursday, Judge Nancy Edmunds ordered Ferguson to pay the restitution because the jury agreed the bidding process for several of Ferguson's city contracts was corrupted.
The FBI has already seized about $4 million in cash, construction equipment, and property from Ferguson between his two cases.
Federal prosecutors plan to ask the U. S. Treasury Department to release as much of that money as possible back to the water department as part of the restitution.
Just moments after Judge Edmunds' ruling, Ferguson had to appear just down the hall in Judge David Lawson's court.
Ferguson is less than two weeks away from his re-trial on allegations of bid-rigging with the Garden View Estates, and today we learned Ferguson and his co-defendant have refused plea deals.
Ferguson told Judge Lawson, "It's clear I'm not guilty. I'm going to trial."
Ferguson also told the judge that he thinks his constitutional rights are being violated because his court appointed lawyer, Mike Rataj, has only had a few months to prepare for the re-trial.
"Have you had enough time to prepare for this," 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo asked Rataj.
"I'll answer it this way: as far as I'm concerned I never have enough time. I would always like more time, but in our biz that's not always possible," said Rataj.
Rataj asked Judge Lawson to move the trial out of Detroit because there's been so much publicity about Ferguson. The judge refused.
"Do you think you can get a fair trial here," asked Catallo.
"We'll wait and see on that one, Heather. Judge says we're going to try to pick a jury, so that's what we'll do, we'll try to pick a jury," said Rataj.
The bid-rigging case ended in a hung jury back in 2012.
The judge did grant the prosecution's request today to keep this new jury anonymous for the re-trial.
About 450 jurors have filled out questionnaires. Hundreds of them have already been cut, leaving the court with about 150 people to choose from on January 21