Contractor didn't like Ferguson's demands

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson bragged after his pal Kwame Kilpatrick allegedly forced a sewer contractor to hire him.

Sewer contractor Tony Soave testified about his firm Inland Waters’ relationship with Ferguson after the mayor allegedly forced him to hire Ferguson in order to win a $50 million city contract.

Ferguson had a rocky relationship with Soave executive Kathleen McCann, Soave said.

Several times, Ferguson boasted about his involvement in the deal and why the city gave the $50 million contract to Inland, the businessman testified.

“On occasion, he would say ‘you realize you’re here because of me,'” Soave said. “That did not make us feel good. It sounds like a little threat when you hear that.”

A prosecutor asked Soave what message was sent by Ferguson.

“That means that you probably should get along with me,” Soave said. “Or there could be consequences.

“He was a troubling contractor for us. We had a lot of problems handling him one way or another and his wanting more work, more money, more things all the time,” Soave continued.

Ferguson’s behavior was unusual for a subcontractor, Soave said.

“It was unusual for a subcontractor to talk to us the way he talked to us,” Soave said.

At one point, Ferguson demanded a 50-50 split of Inland Waters’ next city deal.

“I told him he could go f— himself,” Soave said.

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