Star witness: Kilpatrick feared feds wired office

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson outside federal court.

Kwame Kilpatrick was concerned the government had planted listening devices or bugs inside his 11th floor City Hall office and the Manoogian Mansion, according to testimony Monday.

Kilpatrick had the office swept for listening devices at least twice, former aide and longtime friend Derrick Miller testified. Kilpatrick also feared the feds were listening at the mansion and would blast music when discussing “business opportunities” for his pal Bobby Ferguson, Miller said.

“What areas were swept for bugs?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked.

“The entire 11th floor, I believe,” Miller said.

Miller is testifying as the government’s star witness after reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors showed jurors a $1,400 check from the mayor’s nonprofit Kilpatrick Civic Fund to Lathrup Village-based store Spy Ops.

A spy store salesman testified in October that a member of Kilpatrick’s staff visited his shop to buy counter-surveillance equipment for the mayor’s office in 2007.

The staffer spent $1,397 on several pieces of equipment, including a device that finds transmitter bugs and a wireless camera finder.

“It’s the ultimate game of cat and mouse,” spy store employee Brian Lang testified.

In a May 2004 text message, Ferguson suggested hiring a private investigator.

The text, shown to jurors, urged Kilpatrick to not tell Miller or mayoral mistress Christine Beatty about the investigator.

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