DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial is expected to resume Tuesday. The trial was delayed two weeks while Bobby Ferguson's lead attorney recovered from a health ailment.
When court begins it will be with one less defendant.
Former Detroit Water Department Chief Victor Mercado worked out a plea deal with prosecutors. Mercado pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption. The feds recommended that Mercado serve no more than 18-months in prison.
Tuesday's first witness is expected to be Detroit businessman Tom Hardiman. He testified that his company Lakeshore Engineering was forced to give Bobby Ferguson millions of dollars for worked he never performed. Hardiman claims Ferguson threatened to get rid of his company's city jobs if he didn't get a cut of the action.
However, Ferguson's attorney got Hardiman to admit on at least one job; Ferguson may have been paid legitimately after Lakeshore Engineering broke a contract with his company and tried to muscle him out of work.
Hardiman is among the Feds first key witnesses in what they're calling "The Climate of Fear."
Next week, more city contractors are expected to take the witness stand, saying they were strong-armed into hiring Ferguson if they wanted to get city business.