Kilpatrick aide pressured contractor during Mackinac event, witness says

Left, Derrick Miller leaves federal court with his lawyer Byron Pitts.

A businesswoman testified Friday that Kwame Kilpatrick aide Derrick Miller leaned on her to hire the mayor’s pal before the city approved a $50 million sewer deal in 2002.

Former Soave Enterprises executive Kathleen McCann testified about an uncomfortable meeting she had with Miller at a party during the 2002 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island.

Miller asked McCann about the status of hiring Bobby Ferguson as a minority subcontractor on a $50 million sewer deal with Soave’s firm Inland Waters. Negotiations were ongoing after Ferguson demanded a $1.5 million payday, McCann testified.

McCann felt uncomfortable being approached by Miller, particularly after Kilpatrick allegedly forced Inland to dump its minority subcontractor and hire Ferguson.

“I was uncomfortable,” McCann said. “It let me know that negotiations needed to be completed before the contract was let.”

Miller struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors and agreed to testify against Kilpatrick during the City Hall corruption trial.

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