Fed witness defended Ferguson in '08, testifies against him today

A high-ranking Detroit Water department official defended indicted contractor Bobby Ferguson four years ago amid concerns about lucrative deals awarded to the close friend of ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Darryl Latimer

Darryl Latimer, the water department’s deputy director who is testifying for the government late Tuesday morning, vouched for Ferguson, who had obtained taxpayer-funded deals in a process prosecutors allege was tainted during a widespread racketeering scheme.

In 2008, The News analyzed Detroit records and revealed that Ferguson and his firms had received at least $170 million in city contracts — $109 million from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department alone — since the mayor took office in 2002.

From The News investigation:

Most water department jobs awarded to Ferguson were bid on by at least a half-dozen other companies, records show. Ferguson has earned a reputation for doing good work for the city, said Darryl Latimer, the water department’s contracts and grants general manager.

“A lot go after bigger jobs,” he said. “His niche is excavation … and he’s good at it.”

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