Contractor spent $4,800 on mayor's suit before landing $7M deal

Johnson Akinwusi

A Detroit contractor insisted Monday that he spent $4,800 on a suit for Kwame Kilpatrick before winning a $7 million contract to build the Heilmann Recreation Center.

Johnson Akinwusi was shown receipts from Southfield custom suit maker Fashion International indicating he spent $4,800 on Kilpatrick’s suit in March 2002.

He bought the suit, which was on layaway, after complaining to Fashion International owner Larry Alebiosu about his inability to land city deals.

Alebiosu suggested writing Kilpatrick a letter — and paying for the suit.

Soon after, Akinwusi’s firmĀ  won the $7 million contract. His partner on the deal: Xcel Construction, a company aligned with Kilpatrick’s pal and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.