Victor Mercado, former director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Mercado, 61, came to Detroit from a utility in Puerto Rico in 2002. His salary — $240,000 — made him one of the highest-paid public officials in the state who held the purse strings for a utility that spent $4.3 billion on public projects. Kilpatrick teamed with Mercado to rig bids and pressure contractors to ensure Ferguson got millions of dollars in contracts, according to the indictment. Along the way, Mercado lied to an investigator hired by a federal judge to look into one questionable contract, prosecutors allege.