Ferguson flexed power to deny work to Detroit rivals

Kwame Kilpatrick’s pal Bobby Ferguson wielded so much power inside City Hall that he controlled which contractors received taxpayer-funded work, according to testimony.

Derrick Miller testified Ferguson was involved in a beef in 2004 with rival contractor John Adamo, who headed a Detroit demolition firm.

John Adamo

John Adamo

Adamo complained to Miller.

“He felt like he was having a hard time getting business for demolition in Detroit,” Miller testified. “He also expressed to me he didn’t necessarily have a great relationship with Mr. Ferguson and that might be the cause for his work not continuing.”

Miller talked to Ferguson about the beef.

“His response was that they had bad blood, the companies were always competing for projects,” Miller said. “He said Adamo was not to be trusted.”

Prosecutors showed jurors text messages exchanged between Ferguson and Kilpatrick.

“Don’t…let Adamo in,” Ferguson texted the mayor July 21, 2004. “We can’t trust them and they bad mouthing all of us.”

“What?” Kilpatrick texted in response.

“Adamo demolition. (Miller) will be coming to you about helping them but it’s not cool. I don’t trust them and they lost. That’s the bottom line. Everyone bidded and they lost.”

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