Kilpatrick bodyguard talks about life with mayor

Kwame Kilpatrick ditched his police bodyguard several times to meet privately with contractor Bobby Ferguson, a Detroit police sergeant testified Monday.

On at least two occasions, Kilpatrick met privately with Ferguson at the contractor’s home and business in the Guardian Building, Sgt. Jefferson Travis testified.

Prosecutors have said Kilpatrick was given more than $541,000 in cash came from Ferguson, a contractor who got $60 million in city-related business because of the mayor — sometimes for doing no work at all.

“You didni’t know what was going on with Mr. Ferguson and the former mayor?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Doeh asked Travis.
“That’s correct,” Travis answered.

Defense lawyer James C. Thomas asked the sergeant if he believed the mayor was involved in something nefarious with Ferguson.

“I didn’t think anything of it at the time,” Travis said.

“Did you ever see Bobby Ferguson with large amounts of cash,” Thomas asked.

“No,” Travis replied

“Ever see him hand Kwame Kilpatrick money?” Thomas asked.

“No,” the sergeant answered.

Travis also testified about trips he took with Kilpatrick to the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami and a private jet flight to Florida, where Kilpatrick had a home.

“Who did the jet belong to,” Doeh asked.

Tony Soave,” Travis answered.

Kilpatrick’s co-defendant, former Detroit water Boss Victor Mercado, has said Soave bribed  Kilpatrick with private flights, $10,000 worth of courtside Detroit Pistons tickets and New York City shopping sprees and helped his mistress lease a Land Rover.

Soave’s lawyer says the Grosse Pointe Farms businessman was extorted.

Thomas asked Travis about the long-rumored Manoogian Mansion party. The lawyer asked if the party ever occurred.

“Not that I’m aware of,” Travis said.

“Move on,” U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds snapped.

“Was he a partier?” Thomas asked.

“No sir,” Travis said.

“Was he a drinker,” the lawyer asked.

“No sir,” Travis said.

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