Ferguson teammate set to testify about $8.5M Detroit deal

Heilmann Recreation Center

Prosecutors will focus today on an $8.5 million Detroit Recreation Department project awarded to a team that included Kwame Kilpatrick’s pal and co-defendant, Bobby Ferguson.

Johnson Akinwusi

Ferguson worked on building the new Heilmann Recreation Center alongside Southfield-based JOA Construction. A JOA executive is expected to testify later today.

Southfield-based JOA Construction is owned by Franklin resident Johnson Akinwusi.

According to the city, the project south of State Fair and east of Hayes included a:

Gym, Pool, Dance/Aerobics Room, Weight Room, Men’s and Women’s Locker Rooms; Arts and Crafts Room; Kiln Room; Game Room; Multi-Purpose Room; Library; Kitchen and Administrative Offices. There is also an open-air atrium space large enough to accommodate large gatherings. The old building was demolished as part of this project and the area was graded and grass-seeded.

The Heilmann project led to a federal court lawsuit in 2007.

JOA and Akinwusi were sued by an insurance company for losses related to the Heilmann development and several other projects.

Several contractors were owed more than $170,000 for working on the Heilmann project, according to these federal court records.

The insurance company won a $6 million judgment against Akinwusi and JOA in March 2009.

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