Soave turns table on Kilpatrick lawyer: 'I don't have dementia'

Kwame Kilpatrick outside federal court.

Contractor Tony Soave dropped another juicy quote during testimony in the City Hall corruption trial Thursday.

Soave was facing questions about his April 2002 meeting with ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick allegedly told the Grosse Pointe Farms businessman to dump his minority subcontractor and hire the mayor’s pal Bobby Ferguson on a $50 million sewer deal.

“It’s hard to remember details,” of the long-ago meeting, Kilpatrick lawyer Harold Gurewitz suggested to Soave.

Karl Kado

“I don’t have dementia if that’s what you’re saying,” Soave said.

That’s an apparent reference to another key government witness, Karl Kado.

Kado, who allegedly was extorted by Kilpatrick and his father, told jurors earlier this week he might have dementia.

Soave reiterated Thursday that the mayor told him to hire Ferguson.

“When I left, I knew what I had to do,” Soave testified.

Kilpatrick’s lawyer pressed him about whether the mayor explicitly told Soave to hire Ferguson or risk losing the $50 million contract and future city work.

“He never said that,” Gurewitz said.

Soave agreed.

“He did not say that,” Soave said.

Bobby Ferguson

Soave told a grand jury probing City Hall corruption that the threat was implied, Gurewitz insisted.

“It was implied, wasn’t it?” the lawyer asked. “That was your answer.”

“Yes,” Soave said.

On Thursday, Soave said Kilpatrick told him to hire Ferguson.

“You keep on not understanding me,” Soave told Kilpatrick’s lawyer. “He said use Bobby Ferguson. You don’t want to hear it, but I keep on telling you that’s the way it went.”

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