Kilpatrick pal elbowed off Detroit project, witness says

Bobby Ferguson

Bobby Ferguson didn’t pocket no-show deals because he was friends with Kwame Kilpatrick, he got paid because a rival contractor elbowed him off a city job, according to testimony Monday.

That’s according to testimony Monday from Detroit businessman Tom Hardiman.

The former Lakeshore Engineering Services businessman provided additional information about a $20 million sewer deal in 2005 that was the focus of testimony Friday when Hardiman described alleged extortion demands by Ferguson.

Hardiman partnered with several companies, including Ferguson Enterprises Inc. to win the deal in March 2005.

The pairing was strategic. Ferguson’s company was based in Detroit and used a large number of Detroit residents and minorities — factors that helped land the deal.

Ferguson was supposed to get 36 percent of the deal and work alongside other contractors, including Angelo D’Alessandro.

Under cross-examination from Ferguson’s lawyer Gerald Evelyn, Hardiman agreed D’Alessandro elbowed Ferguson off the deal.

Ferguson was bought out for $900,000 — far more than the approximately $342,000 in profit Ferguson’s company could have received under the original deal.

Robert Snell

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