Kilpatrick pal's lawyer probes fed witness' flip flop

A key government witness allegedly extorted by Bobby Ferguson and ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick never told federal agents he was shaken down when first questioned in March 2006.

Businessman Tom Hardiman, whose companies allegedly were extorted by ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson, failed to tell agents about paying Ferguson for no-show work, or giving the contractor money to win city deals, according to testimony.

The allegations, however, later emerged and are a central part of the City Hall corruption trial.

Gerald Evelyn, center, is seen here in this file photo from 2008. (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)

Evelyn pointed out the inconsistency when testimony resumed Thursday.

“He never made those allegations,” Evelyn said.

Hardiman testified he gave money to Kilpatrick’s campaign early on for “business purposes.”

“I remember saying once he was mayor, I said to him that I would never ask for special consideration but if I ran into a problem I wanted to be able to come to him and address the problems,” Hardiman testified.

“You told the government you never got special consideration or asked for a favor,” Evelyn said.

Hardiman earlier testified he frantically tried to reach Kilpatrick, his mother, ex-Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, and high-ranking city officials after losing $15 million in city deals.

Hardiman’s company even hired the mayor’s father Bernard Kilpatrick in hopes of saving deals that allegedly were yanked because Hardiman refused to give Ferguson a 25 percent share.

Robert Snell

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