Walbridge letter worried Ferguson, his former employee testifies - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Walbridge letter worried Ferguson, his former employee testifies

Posted: Updated:
DETROIT (WJBK) -

A former employee of Bobby Ferguson and other contractors testified Wednesday that Ferguson often threw his weight around to intimidate partners, but there was at least one thing that Ferguson himself was afraid of.

For years, Ferguson boasted that he got city contracts on merit, not because of his friendship with Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

However, business consultant and former Ferguson employee Bernard Parker testified that Kilpatrick aides put Ferguson in city deals and Ferguson used his city hall connections to threaten contractors who didn't give him his way.

Still, an official with Walbridge Aldinger pushed back, reminding Ferguson in a letter that he was only a part of their deal because "Walbridge Aldinger was strongly persuaded by highly-placed city officials to award a substantial portion of the excavation work to Ferguson enterprises."

The official pointed out that Ferguson's price for the job was 23 percent higher than the low bidder Walbridge might have otherwise hired.

Parker testified that the letter infuriated Ferguson, who was afraid reporters might someday read it.

However, Ferguson wasn't the only one fuming.  Attorney Mike Rataj said Judge Nancy Edmunds isn't giving the defense a fair shake.

"For her to prop the government lawyers up every time they can't ask a question properly, for the hearsay, the double and triple hearsay that's coming in, it puts us at a huge disadvantage in this case," he remarked.  "We're all frustrated because this isn't the way that it's supposed to work.  The person that makes the statement's got to come in and testify to it so they can be crossed examined.  That's the bottom line."

The roughneck former college hockey player said the judge's rulings make fighting the case like skating five-on-three, but Rataj isn't giving up just yet.

"As long as we're still playing, I think we can win."

Hearsay testimony has been a big complaint of the defense throughout this trial, but they will get a chance to call those folks in when they put their own case on starting early next year.

Question and Answer

HUEL PERKINS: Judge Nancy Edmunds runs a tight ship.  She may not be happy about Rataj's comments.  What do you think she's going to do?

ELRICK: I think that's putting it mildly.  She's already taken him to the woodshed, or as he may say the penalty box, a couple times in this trial.  I have a feeling that if (she)... hears about this, she will have something to say to Mr. Rataj and it's something that he probably will not want to hear, and we'll see if it could lead to sanctions or some sort of discipline.  It's an open question, one that I think we'll have resolved very soon.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Michigan man mocked on Instagram by Shaquille O'Neal, celebrities files lawsuit

    Michigan man mocked on Instagram by Shaquille O'Neal, celebrities files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-30 23:08:15 GMT
    Jahmel Binion filed a lawsuit in Macomb County court today.Jahmel Binion filed a lawsuit in Macomb County court today.
    They said they were sorry -- but it's not enough. The local man -- who was mocked for his appearance on Instagram by Shaquille O'Neal and other celebrities is now suing.
    They said they were sorry -- but it's not enough. The local man -- who was mocked for his appearance on Instagram by Shaquille O'Neal and other celebrities is now suing.
  • Witnesses describe punch that killed soccer ref, say suspect has been violent before

    Witnesses describe punch that killed soccer ref, say suspect has been violent before

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:57:23 GMT
    More details emerged from 16th District Court about what happened on the soccer field the day that referee John Bieniewicz died, allegedly from a punch to the neck by Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Testimony was heard through the eyes of four witnesses, three players including two on the opposing team, one teammate of Saad and a police officer. According to court testimony, Saad has gotten violent before on the soccer field.Wiping away tears, 36-year-old Saad, facing a judge on second-degree murder ...
    More details emerged from 16th District Court about what happened on the soccer field the day that referee John Bieniewicz died, allegedly from a punch to the neck by Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Testimony was heard through the eyes of four witnesses, three players including two on the opposing team, one teammate of Saad and a police officer. According to court testimony, Saad has gotten violent before on the soccer field.Wiping away tears, 36-year-old Saad, facing a judge on second-degree murder ...
  • Woman's life changed from side effect of bariatric surgery

    Woman's life changed from side effect of bariatric surgery

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:41:11 GMT
    A metro Detroit woman should be celebrating her tremendous weight loss, but instead is now battling a rare condition that has her regretting her bariatric surgery.
    A metro Detroit woman should be celebrating her tremendous weight loss, but instead is now battling a rare condition that has her regretting her bariatric surgery.
  • Latest Development in the Kilpatrick Corruption TrialMore>>

  • Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Bobby Ferguson sentenced to 21 years in prison

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:20 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:20:27 GMT
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
    Bobby Ferguson, a former city contractor and longtime friend of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison for his role in a public corruption case.
  • Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Kwame Kilpatrick sentenced to 28 years in prison

    Thursday, October 10 2013 9:33 PM EDT2013-10-11 01:33:28 GMT
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
    A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions and ended a career for the once promising politician.
  • No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    No prison time for Kilpatrick's right-hand man

    Thursday, May 29 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-05-30 03:32:53 GMT
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
    He was former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's best friend and was once his right-hand man in City Hall. But when the corruption scandal unfolded, Derrick Miller testified against his former friend, helping to send the ex-mayor to prison.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices