Testimony turns testy during Ferguson lawyer probe

Bobby Ferguson

A government witness whose firm allegedly was forced to hire Bobby Ferguson disagreed that the mayor’s pal was a tough, passionate businessman concerned about finding work for minorities in Detroit.

Witness Kathleen McCann, a former high-ranking executive at Soave Enterprises, refused to concede to defense points during a heated cross-examination Monday directed by Ferguson’s lawyer Susan Van Dusen.

McCann previously testified Ferguson demanded $1.5 million and threatened a Soave-related firm on a $50 million sewer deal in 2002. Ferguson allegedly was added to the deal at the insistence of the contractor’s pal, ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Her interactions with Ferguson were so unreasonable and unpleasant McCann said she kept a diary, figuring one day she would be telling the story. McCann eventually did talk to the FBI.

“He wanted money for doing no work,” McCann said.

“You probably heard around Soave’s offices that (Ferguson) was a handful, right?” Van Dusen asked. “He has a habit when he talks that is sort of like yelling, correct?”

“I don’t recall that,” McCann said.

“But you knew he was fighting for his employees to get work, correct?” Van Dusen said.

“No,” McCann said. “Mr. Ferguson was fighting for himself.”

Robert Snell

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