Kilpatrick crony 'nervous' while hamstringing water firm

Kilpatrick at the Southfield transportation center in Detroit, MI on Friday, February 1, 2008

A key Kwame Kilpatrick appointee appeared nervous and fidgety while carrying out an order from the ex-mayor to hamstring one of Bobby Ferguson’s rival bidders.

City official Kim Harris described a key meeting he had in May 2006 with his boss, Gerard Grant Phillips. Phillips wanted Harris to strip certification from a firm called DLZ that gave it bonus points for having headquarters in Detroit.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta

The move cost DLZ and its partner a lucrative water department deal, which later was awarded to Ferguson’s team.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta asked Harris on Friday about the May 2006 meeting.

“Describe Gerard Grant Phillips’ demeanor,” Bullotta said.

“He basically walked around in circles with his hands in his pockets,” Harris said.

“You said he seemed nervous?” Bullotta asked.

“Yes,” Harris said, “Nervous and fidgeting.”

“Did Mr. Phillips tell you it had to be done immediately?” Bullotta asked.

“Yes, it was an urgency,” Harris said.

Gerard Grant Phillips

“Did he tell you why?” the prosecutor asked.

“No,” Harris said.

“If Gerard Grant Phillips did not want to pull DLZ’s certification in 2006, yet Mayor Kilpatrick wanted to pull it, could Gerard Grant Phillips have stopped him?” Bullotta asked.

“No,” Harris said, answering over several objections from Kilpatrick’s lawyer James C. Thomas.

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