Kilpatrick pal swore, threatened to spike Detroit jobs

Bobby Ferguson, right, and his defense team outside federal court.

The Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial ended on powerful and profane note Friday with testimony about an alleged threat by the mayor’s friend, contractor Bobby Ferguson.

“I will shut these jobs down,” Ferguson allegedly told Detroit water department contractor Tom Hardiman in summer 2007.

Ferguson threatened to cancel work unless Hardiman fired contractor Angelo D’Alessandro’s company and hired his firm.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow asked Hardiman for Ferguson’s exact words.

“He was a little bit more colorful,” Hardiman said. “He said he would shut these f—— jobs down,” Hardiman said.

The project was for sewer and water line work on the east side of Detroit. Ferguson had paired with another contractor and lost the bid to Hardiman’s firm, Lakeshore Engineering Services.

Hardiman said Lakeshore had asked to work with Ferguson but that Ferguson had decided to work exclusively with contractor Inland Waters.

After Inland lost to Lakeshore, Ferguson approached Lakeshore and got a verbal agreement to join their team, Hardiman said.

Robert Snell

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