Kilpatrick pal got cash for no-show work, witness says

Bobby Ferguson, left, and lawyer Gerald Evelyn outside federal court.

Detroit businessman Tom Hardiman has a mantra he uses when explaining why he allegedly paid ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson money for no-show work.

“10 million. Five million.”

Those figures refer to $15 million worth of contracts canceled by the city in 2003 after Hardiman refused Ferguson’s demand for a 25-percent piece of the deal.

The most recent time Hardiman used the mantra Friday was when Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked why his firm A&H Contractors paid a Ferguson firm $200,000 in January 2008.

“Why?” Chutkow asked.

“Because it was Bobby Ferguson,” Hardiman said. “My decisions were always based on the initial loss of two contracts.”

Business in Detroit, and with Bobby Ferguson, came down to a simple equation, Hardiman said.

“You can have zero in profit or some in profit,” he said. “That’s your choice.”

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