Texts could haunt Kilpatrick defense witness

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

Christine Beatty and Kwame Kilpatrick

Longtime Kwame Kilpatick pal Erik Rayford, who is testifying for the ex-mayor, could face questions from prosecutors about a city deal revealed in text messages.

Rayford’s name surfaced in text messages obtained by federal prosecutors from April 2003.

March 3, 2004: Kilpatrick announces plans for the $130 million renovation of the Michigan Central Depot to house the police department on the same day the city reveals a $264 million deficit.

March 3, 2004: Kilpatrick announces plans for the $130 million renovation of the Michigan Central Depot to house the police department.

Kilpatrick and his ex-mistress Christine Beatty exchanged texts  in April 2003 about a deal to build a new police headquarters.

In one text, Kilpatrick said he picked Rayford and another man to bid on a piece of the contract.

Beatty was surprised another Kilpatrick pal, contractor and co-defendant Bobby Ferguson, wasn’t up for the job.

“Bobby wanted to strategically lose a major bid,” Kilpatrick wrote in the April 16, 2003, text message. “He will be on this one at bid time.”

Plans for a new police headquarters never materialized during Kilpatrick’s tenure. The city currently is renovating the former MGM Grand Casino, which will become the new police headquarters.

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