A Detroit police officer allegedly threatened by contractor Bobby Ferguson just took the stand and is expected to testify about a run-in referenced in the City Hall corruption indictment.
Ferguson is accused of teaming with Kilpatrick’s bodyguards to intimidate an officer into dropping illegal dumping charges against his company, Ferguson Enterprises.
Michael Fountain testified today he issued illegal dumping ticket to Ferguson in October 2001 related to property the contractor owned on Military in Detroit.
In November 2001, the officer, identified in the indictment as “Officer A,” attended Ferguson’s arraignment on the misdemeanor charge in 36th District Court.
Ferguson, a close friend of the mayor, approached the officer.
“He said ‘I’m Bobby Ferguson, do you know who I am?’” Fountain testified today. “He was quite confident. He had a Mr. Kilpatrick button on.”
“A campaign button?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked.
“Yes,” Fountain said.
In February 2002, Ferguson showed up in court for the trial with two Kilpatrick bodyguards, according to the indictment.
One of the bodyguards allegedly told the officer it would be in his best interest to drop the charge. From the indictment:
“Shortly thereafter, Officer A, fearing for the safety of his family, caused the ordinance violations against Ferguson Enterprises to be dismissed.”
One of the bodyguards was Mike Martin, a close friend of the mayor’s.
Ferguson delivered a threat, Fountain testified.
“He said it would behoove me to cancel the tickets,” Fountain said. “He said my family wouldn’t like all this going on because something could happen. At that point, I had a wife and children. They were teenagers and one was a baby.”
“Did the fact Mr. Ferguson was with two officers play into your fear?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said.
“Yeah, to a degree,” Fountain said. “Here it is, I’m sitting here talking to a business owner, and he’s got the protection of two police officers. It definitely weighed against me.
“So I canceled the tickets. I told the judge I made a mistake.”
“Did you make a mistake?” Bullotta asked.
“No,” Fountain said.