Mistrial declared in Detroit corruption case

Jun 26, 2012

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the bid-rigging trial of a Detroit contractor whose business flourished when Kwame Kilpatrick was mayor.

Bobby Ferguson was on trial on accusations he participated in a scheme to rig bids on a housing project to benefit his business.

Judge David Lawson acted Tuesday afternoon after jurors reported they were deadlocked.

In a written statement, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she was disappointed that the jury could not agree on a verdict.

"We will try this case again because it is so important to the citizens of Detroit, who deserve so much better. We will do all we can to hold accountable defendants who are charged with cheating to obtain lucrative
public contracts and then dumping contaminated soil on a housing project for low-income families just so that they can be paid to clean it up. We are confident in the merits and strength of this case."

Ferguson also was accused of money laundering and illegally possessing firearms. He's a former felon barred from having guns.

Ferguson's lawyers say the government's case is built largely through shady witnesses who made plea deals and agreed to testify.

Ferguson also faces a corruption trial in September with Kilpatrick and Kilpatrick's father, Bernard.

Kwame Kilpatrick quit the mayor's office in 2008.