No plea deal for Mercado, lawyer says

Victor Mercado

A lawyer for former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado denied speculation Tuesday that his client has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Lawyer John Minock said there is no deal, which was speculated because his co-counsel Martin Crandall was not in the courtroom today.

“That’s incorrect,” Minock told The News.

A plea deal is not even on the radar, he said.

Crandall is reviewing documents from the government that were not previously available. The documents pertain to federal court oversight of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, Minock said.

In the corruption case, Mercado is accused of steering contracts to Bobby Ferguson, lying during a federal investigation into one city contract, pocketing a $240,000 salary and hiring a private company to sweep his offices for listening devices, prosecutors allege.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of racketeering conspiracy, extortion and obstruction of justice.

Mercado’s lawyers have said he was not a member of Kilpatrick’s inner circle and was a victim of Kilpatrick’s criminal racket.

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