Scorned Detroit firm hired powerful Kilpatrick insider

Conrad Mallett

A Detroit contractor scorned after clashing with ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s friend Bobby Ferguson said he had his own powerful City Hall insider.

Pratap Rajadhyaksha hired former Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Conrad Mallett Jr., paying him $5,000 a month to act as a liaison between his company and City Hall.

Mallett stepped down as Detroit’s chief operating officer under former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in April 2002.

John Shea, a lawyer for Kilpatrick’s father Bernard Kilpatrick, questioned Rajadhyaksha about the relationship with the former Supreme Court chief justice.

“You hired (Mallett) because he had close ties to the administration?” Shea asked.

“That’s right,” Rajadhyaksha said.

Shea appeared to be drawing parallels between Mallett and Bernard Kilpatrick and suggest there is nothing illegal about hiring a Kwame Kilpatrick insider.

Bernard Kilpatrick is accused of capitalizing on his son’s terms in office and  pocketing money from contractors who feared losing city business unless they hired him as a “consultant.”

Mallett, meanwhile, had a share of electrical and janitorial contracts at Detroit’s Cobo Center that have been linked to a City Hall bribery scandal.

In a 2009 Detroit News story, Mallett said his company, ABK Development LLC, received a monthly retainer from Karl Kado, the former Cobo contractor who allegedly paid bribes to two successive Cobo directors.

Kado is a key government witness in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption trial and will testify at some point. He is among at least 11 convicted felons scheduled to testify during the trial.

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