Ferguson lawyer, businesswoman clash in court

Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

A businesswoman at a firm allegedly forced by Kwame Kilpatrick to hire the mayor’s pal Bobby Ferguson had tense exchange with Ferguson’s lawyer today.

The exchange happened as Ferguson lawyer Susan Van Dusen suggested Inland Waters had a “minority front” as a subcontractor until they hired Ferguson, who headed a real company with equipment and employees.

Van Dusen questioned businesswoman Kathleen McCann about subcontractor Charlie Williams. Inland allegedly dumped Williams at the insistence of Kilpatrick, who wanted the firm to hire Ferguson on a $50 million sewer deal in spring 2002.

Van Dusen suggested Inland merely used Williams to qualify for bonus points awarded to minority firms based in Detroit during the bidding process.

“If you put Inland employees with Charlie Williams and you pay him for his share and he pays your employees, you’re passing money through him and back to Inland,” Van Dusen said.

“That is not what was going to happen, counselor,” McCann said in a clipped tone. “I don’t know how many different ways to tell you that.”

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