Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 19 - Fox 2 News Headlines

Live Blog: Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Day 19

Updated:
DETROIT (myFOXDetroit.com) -

12:50

Chutkow is done and so is the Judge, she's calling to break for the day.  THe jury is filing out of the room. And we'll see you back in the morning.  M.L. Elrick will have the complete wrap up at 5 and 6.  Don't forget to look for his Daily TAkeaway on MyFoxDetroit.com

12:45

Chutkow turning to allegations about construction management contracts, "sibling contracts" one for east side and one for west side, still referring to downtown water mains. 

Chutkow asks if Pazcewicz remembers that Superior Engineering was eliminated from job.

Pazcewicz says Ferguson and Excel were paid by Lakeshore.  SAys A&H which is related to Lakeshore paid another $2 million.  So FErguson got $4 total.

Pazcewicz says the west side of the project was awarded to another company and Ferguson got $f.4 million out of that contract.

12:42

text from Bobby few days later: "fei instead of Posen."

Pazcewicz says she requested payments from city to Ferguson on downtown main contract.  SAys Ferguson was paid 3.4 million on one contract 3.5 on another.  Says she rounded down for purposes of testimony.

12:37

These texts are amazing, they're reading them faster than I can type them, but they're all complaining that the contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders and suggesting that the Mayor should do something about it.  Bobby is even complaining that he's been cut out of the decision making process and the the Mayor is being ignored.

Chutkow is back looking at a March 2004 text.

This is again Bobby: Victor is full of shit he told me the ordinance didn't let him throw Posen out.

now they're looking at text from MErcado:

Trying to locate evaluations... also looking to delay work.

12:34

Now looking at a letter from DLZ to Posen saying company was being considered for a contract and come pick up papers.

changing to text between Bobby and Kwame and Miller:

Bobby: Victor is full of shit he told me the ordinance didn't let him throw Posen out.

Kwame: cool

Miller: THat's BS. I am in DC so I will holla tomorrow.

Pazcewicz looking at price comparison list now, says based on investigation this was a sample bid and not everyone was going to be awarded work.

The objections are flying.  Sidebar now.

12:30

Pazcewicz says Hayes was owned by William Hayes and was a Detroit based minority contractor.

Another text:

Bobby: you want to hear something funny, Hayes cussed out victor and told him stuff his job, 5 minutes later he call me and asked me how long it would take to do the job and (when they could start?)

12:27

Now reading a whole string of texts from Bobby complaining that the lowest bidders got the contracts, went to the "white folks" complained that DLZ was already telling some of the contractors they got the bids.

12:22

Pazcewicz says it was the next day the Bobby sent the text saying the date had been changed to his benefit.  Says there's also a record of the Mayor making a phone call to Mercado.

Now looking at letter to DZL from water dept saying they've approved accepting the three lowest bidder.

Changing to text from Bobby to Kwame:

says the timing is 3 days after the lowest bidder acceptance

Bobby: I need zeke to call victor and tell him he wants to review recommendations for the downtown contractors.  Pazcewicz says zeke is Derrick Miller.

12:20

Kwame texts: "his Slick shit is running  out. I got his ass on something. I aint happy"

Pazcewicz says the mayor is referring to Mercado.  THis was sent the same day Mercado approved the three lowest bidders.

12:16

Text from Bobby to Kwame:

Bobby: date had been change to my benefit but we still have a problem on the big one.

Pazcewicz says that's the downtown main

12:15

 Letter from QaQish to Mercado suggesting three lowest bidders get contracts.  Pazcewicz says he also recommended getting re-bids from the other contracts.

Mercado approved it.

12:14

Ferguson to Kwame:

later the same day

Mayor: can you come to office

bobby:I guess right now I'm in a staff meeting... can you give me 20 minutes...

Mayor:yes

bobby: thanks boss

Mayor: it's about downtown project.

Bobby: okay

Bobby: I am here sir, I'm out here with security ( this is an hour later)

Mayor: come in

12:10

Another test from 2004

Mercado to Mayor, needs to speak to him

Mayor come to office at 5:30

Mercado says thanks

12:07

Looking at a letter from DLZ to the water department, AWni QAQISH is the assistant director of OPMA.

SAys DLZ recommends three lowest bidders get contracts and they'll start negotiations.

Rataj is objecting and Judge is telling him this letter is already in evidence he can address his concerns on cross she's just reading the letter.

12:04

Ferguson to Miller: I need to see you sir.

Miller: hollar about 3:30

Ferguson: With the boss this is urgent.

Miller: you're there? cool

basically it's a string of colorful messages arranging a 3:30 meeting.

Pazcewicz says there were talking about the downtown water main project.

12:01

Another bobby text complaining the Pratap (DLZ) people trying to give contract to someone else.  Bobby also says we are not a part of the decision making process.

Pazcewicz says she didn't find any evidence that Bobby was ever a part of the decision making process.

11:57

Another text bobby Tings are moving kid of quick on the water main work, is it ok, if zee review and approve the water main replacement work prior to victor assigning a new task to has new consultant team.

11:52

They're talking about an email sent to Edwards of DSWD from his assistant Mr. Walter.  Its about appearance of impropriety, change orders, other concerns.

Pazcewicz telling Chutkow about text messages she reviewed and that she was looking at conversation about getting around a city council vote.

Text message from Bobby to Kwame:

Bobby says you haven't authorized Vick to go ahead with downtown water main with Asian people (DLZ)

Kwame replies he did

Bobby asks if that was the whole program or just the pilot program.

Kwame pilot program

 Bobby I think we may have an issue

11:47

Looking at the email showing problem with DLZ not having a performance bond now. From Mr. Walter to ... RATaj objects, says bring in Mr. Walter so we can cross examine him.

Chutkow says this is an email defense agreed to let us allow as a business record.  Judge over rules.  Rataj sits.

Judge now asking him if she's wrong that these exhibits have already been agreed upon and passed.  Overrules RAtaj.

11:42

Pazcewicz says she investigated complaints from Lakeshore Engineering among others.. Says she looked a sewer and water main construction contracts.

Talking generally now about several companies, Inland Waters, Waldrige, DLZ.  Says she obtained records from all those companies about a variety of contracts, got financial records, thing along those lines.

Chutkow asking about Edwards day of testimony, Pazcewicz says 2 days!

Says she talked to him and others to get help putting evidence in context.  Says she was looking to Edwards in particular. 

Says she does this with emails, texts, letter, all documentation.

11:36

Special agent CArol Pazcewicz is on the stand now. She's explaining that she investigated complaints that contractors were forced into partnerships, or no show payments, or had a fear that if they didn't do these things they would not get contracts or lose existing contracts.

Attorneys ask for Sidebar.

I met Carol a few years ago when she was assigned to the EPA.  She's a no nonsense, tough, agent, and even if she's only 5'4" you wouldn't want to mess with her.

11:33

Blackwell on redirect. Asks if Mallot told him to hire Ferguson. Rajadhyaksha says Mallot told him anything he could do for Bobby would be appreciated by the Mayor.

Says Bobby was harder to deal with than the other contractors.

Asks if a change order for Hayes was new work and says it was what he would call a new work order for new work.  Says Hayes did a good job and this new work was connected to the job they were currently doing so it made sense to have them do it.

Says Ferguson was the worst of the 6.

Rajadhyaksha is excused.

11:30

RATaj asks if his own brother fired him.  Rajadhyaksha says believe it or not he did.  RAtaj asks if he told the FBi his brother fired him because he "pissed too many people off."

Rajadhyaksha says the FBi report says he was fired because his brother wanted to make peace with certain folks he "allegedly" pissed off in Detroit.

Rataj is done.

11:26

RAtaj asking about letter of intent, spoke to Jay meadow (DLZ project manager) about bond issue. This is the document Edwards testified about yesterday that outlined the problem in giving DLZ the contract without posting the bond themselves.  Rajadhyaksha say he still doesn't recall. 

Blackwell objects that the question was asked and answered and the Judge sustains, then tells Rataj that he's asked the same question a number of times and not to ask him again.

11:19

Rataj asks if all the "change orders" were for new work. Rajadhyaksha says that's not correct and he testified in direct some were for new work and some were for changes in working conditions.  Department called them that for whatever bookkeeping reason they had.

11:12

Rajadhyaksha says the document doesn't refresh his memory and he doesn't recall the lawsuit.  Says nobody told him about a problem with the bond.

Rataj asks if he has a strong personality. Rajadhyaksha says there are strong personalities in al businesses.  Rataj says he's only interested in construction business. ASks if he and Mr. Ferguson were able to work through their differences. Says yes

RAtaj showing him another document now>

Rataj ran Rajadhyaksha through a whole series of questions asking if Rajadhyaksha was a push over, was he a strong personality, did he get walked over. Rajadhyaksha said he did okay, not necessarily a fair characterization, etc.  RAtaj was getting him to admit he and Bobby were similar in personality, didn't exactly come across that way.

11:08

RAtaj asks if there was a problem with the bond. Rajadhyaksha says he doesn't recollect there being a problem with the bond.

Rataj asks if when he worked with SNell it failed to post a bond and cost the city millions of dollars. Blackwell objects, the judge over rules. Rajadhyaksha says he doesn't remember that.

Rataj now giving him a document to refresh his memory.

 

11:02

RAtaj asks if there was a problem with the bond.  Rajadhyaksha says he doesn't recollect there being a problem with the bond.

Rataj asks if when he worked with SNell it failed to post a bond and cost the city millions of dollars.  Blackwell objects, the judge over rules.  Rajadhyaksha says he doesn't remember that.

Rataj now giving him a document to refresh his memory.

11:02

RAtaj now showing a 2003 email from Rajadhyaksha to Daniel Edwards the contract guy at DSWD, it ways an RFP process will be used to select contractors... there will be as many as 7 contractors working at a time... important to have good price competition.

Rataj asks if it was a big job and if strong preference to use Detroit Based and Headquartered businesses.  Rajadhyaksha says yes, that he believed Edwards had some questions and this was the response.

Asks if FEI and Hayes got hired, says yes.  AGrees they were involved in pilot program.

Rataj asks if they made him look good. Rajadhyaksha says they did the work, yes.

10:58

RAtaj asks if he told the FBI that the program was successful because it was under budget and ahead of schedule and Rajadhyaksha says yes.

Rataj asks if he sat down with Mercado and said the pilot program worked out great let's do a contract now. Rajadhyaksha says Mercado called him to a meeting to talk about the downtown water main project to see if it could get done before the Super Bowl.

It might be a little confusing here, they're talking about 2 separate things, the "pilot program" which was the introduction of the project manager concept, and putting that into use for the downtown water main replacement project shortly after.

10:55

Rataj asking about Rajadhyaksha's pilot program to increase efficiency with the project management model.

Says he suggested using minority contractors.  Says using Ferguson might have been his idea.

Rataj says "nobody called you up on the phone and said use Ferguson or you'll never get another city contract again>" Rajadhyaksha say that didn't happen.

10:52

Court is back in session.  The Judge is explaining "Impeachment" where an attorney can show that a prior statement from a witness  is inconsistent with their current testimony.  The Judge says attorney's can't just read a previous statement into the record.  This is aimed at Rataj who was doing that just before the break.

Rataj is back up now on Cross.

10:27

Judge is now getting on Rataj's case about rules of evidence, this is getting pretty contentious.  Rajadhyaksha admits he hired former State Supreme Court Justice Mallot to protect his interests at city hall were protected.

RATaj says okay, we've established why you hired Mr. Mallot.  And the Judge calls for a break.

10:22

Rataj asks if he had friends in DSWD were leaking him information and Rajadhyaksha says that incorrect it was public information.  RAtaj just asked a whole line of questioning about Rajadhyaksha getting inside information, bout stuff "in the pipeline."  Says you can't get a leg up on a project unless you know what the scope of the project is. 

Blackwell is tossing in objections about this line of questioning and the Judge telling Rataj to move on.

10:15

Mike Rataj is up now.  Asking about his work background.  Asking if Rajadhyaksha's brother and he purchased Snell environmental in 1998 and if FBI report is wrong because it says that his brother bought it.  Rajadhyaksha and Rataj going back and forth about who had what stake in company and who worked for who, and what it said in the FBI report.  Not moving forward to any specific argument yet.

Rataj asking if Snell was a part of a group called Detroit Waste Water partners and if IT said that in FBI report that the report was inaccurate. Rajadhyaksha looking at the report, says DLZ was not part of the consortium but did work under consortium and that the report didn't day they were part of the consortium.

So Rataj just got backed into a corner with this line of questioning and is now moving on.

10:14

Rajadhyaksha corrects Crandall that it was the downtown water project, not the pilot project, that Mercado asked him to give Bobby work.

Crandal asks if he remembers that he didn't mention the "work with Bobby conversation" to FBI when he was interviewed.

SAys Mallot told him constantly that working with Bobby was a must.

Rajadhyaksha says he doesn't remember whether he did not did not tell the Grand Jury that Mercado told him to work with Bobby.  Says he remembers Mercado telling him that Mercado didn't like working with Bobby.

10:07

Mercado's main attorney Martin Crandall is now cross examining.  Says Mercado  had a strong personality but he like working with him.  Says Mercado seemed to be doing okay.

10:05

Rajadhyaksha says Mallot interacted with whomever he needed to talk to.  Says he doesn't know who all he talked to.  Shea is grilling him on why he told the FBI that Mallot talked specifically to Derrick Miller and Rajadhyaksha says that's the name that occurred to him at the time. Rajadhyaksha is looking at Shea like he's a goof who's asking a weird question.  Like, why are you asking me this, they asked me a question a few years ago  and I answered them, It's no big deal.

Shea is done.

10:04

Shea refreshing Rajadhyaksha's memory about a conversation he had with one of the FBI Investigators.

10:02

Asked if it's no unusual to hire a liaison to communicate with city officials.  Says yes.

REcalls that Mallot was close to Derrick Miller, Kwame and others.

9:58

Bernard's attorney John Shea is up now.  Asking about an advisor he consulted with regarding city business.  Conrad Mallot.

Says he worked with Mallot since the Blanchard administration. 

Aksed if Mallot was hired as liason with city and had tiies to city administration, says yes.

9:55

Rajadhyaksha says he's never heard of other municipalities using average cost method and doesn't even know what it is.

Says he talked to Mercado about his interest in future projects, says Mercado told him to sharpen his pencil, come up with a good price, and make a bid.

SAys in casual conversations Mercado told him he was tired of being pressured to continually keep giving Ferguson work.

9:57

Says he never learned why they didn't get the next contract.  Says he never heard of the cost averaging method.  This is the method the Water Department tossed into the Bidding mix that ultimately made Ferguson's company go from one of the highest bidders on the contracts to one of the lowest.

9:50

Yesterday the defense made a big deal about DLZ not being bonded, but Rajadhyaksha just casually dismissed that today as no problem.

Blackwell now asking if Rajadhyaksha had been notified that certification was being revoked.  Says he heard during the proposal period that cert had been pulled.

9:46

Says in bidding on a future contracts they were surprised because they didn't get even one contract, since it was there idea to begin with and they did great work on the previous contract.

Looking at a letter from Feb 2006 from the Human Rights  Dept. that DLZ was officially certified as a minority business and a Detroit Headquartered business.  Effective through Aug 5 2008.

9:45

Says MErcado was very happy with DLZ's performance.  Says Mercado's staff kept telling him it wouldn't work but after it was done the concept was adopted for other projects.

9:39

Rajadhyaksha says the objective was to get the job done.  SAys near the end of the contract he  decided not to give Ferguson  additional work because Ferguson was behind on the work he was currently doing.  Says Mercado called him and asked him why.  Says he told Mercado to give it to Lanzo so they could get it done.  Says Mercado saw his point.

Says he met with Mercado at least once a month.  His project managers were meeting with Deputy Qakish weekly.

Says he personally kept Mercado updated and Mercado was happy.  Rajadhyaksha says he told Mercado several times that Ferguson was late and Mercado told him to keep helping him out.

Says he thought it was unusual for Mercado to  ask about 1 contractor.

9:35

Rajadhyaksha says DLZ negotiated Ferguson's prices down to the same range as other contractors. Blackwell asks Rajadhyaksha to compare dealing with FEI (Bobby's company)  says it was difficult, frequently asked of change orders, but they got through it.

Says after work was finished they gave contractors new work.  Says a change order is when they needed more money for a specific job because of surprises.  Says in reality that not all the change orders were for changes, some were for new work.

9:31

Says it was in the best interest in the Department, Tax payers, and DLZ to get the best price.  SAys if he did  a good job at it he expected to get more work in the future.

Now Looking at a letter from DLZ to the Department. The letter refers to DLZ negotiating a lower price.

9:29

Rajadhyaksha says they divided the project into segments and that the folks who finished the work and did it fast would get more work so there was an incentive.  Says the ARmy Corp of Engineers uses this working model.

Says once a company got a look at the segment they'd be working on DLZ would negotiate a price for that segment.

9:27

Rajadhyaksha say he got an angry cal from Bobby saying he was making him look bad.  Says Bobby told him not to worry about the director he had to worry about Bobby.  Says he finally hung up on Bobby, that Bobby was yelling and screaming on the phone.  Says he doesn't think they eve talked about that.

says What it meant to him was that he thought Bobby was in close contact with people above Mercado and would complain to them.

Blackwell asks who was that and he says the Mayor.

9:25

Rajadhyaksha says he was told, "anything you can do to help bobby would be well received by the mayor."

says Ferguson was difficult to work with, always late, and wanted change orders that he thought were uncalled for.  Says they spent 50% of their time dealing with Bobby but hung tough and got the job done.

Says they wrote DSWD a letter saying he was a problem.

9:22

Rajadhyaksha says Mercado told him he wanted Ferguson to get work on the project.  Didn't tell him to add any other contractors to the contract.

Says Mercado didn't tell him why.

9:18

Rajadhyaksha says after conversations with Mercado they decided that they wanted to bring in the minority contractors, Hayes, Ferguson, and McCormmick, would negotiate with them to get prices more in line with what they wanted.

Says he met with Mercado to talk about getting mains replaced before the Super bowl.

Says it was a very time sensitive contract.

Says he believes DLZ got the contract under emergency procedures.  Says there was  no problem with a bond because the contractors would be bonded.  Says no one complained to  him about the bond.

Says Ferguson's was a small firm but did okay work.

9:15

Rajadhyaksha says they used Hayes and Ferguson on the pilot project, Ferguson was always looking for change orders but it was okay because they got the work done.  Asked why he worked with Ferguson...there's an objection and Blackwell is moving on.   Rajadhyaksha started talking about a conversation so the Judge sustained as hearsay.

9:13

Rajadhyaksha says DLZ was in charge of designing management and  construction of the water mains.  Says the program was pretty successful.  Got 2 years work done in 6 months.  Says Mercado told him he was happy with the project.

9:10

Raj says he got his degree from MIT.  His company does work all over the country.  He says DLZ had a number of state subsidiaries.  Says in 2005 gross revenue was around $90 million, 4-5 million in  Michigan.

Says his company was part of a pilot  project to accelerate the installation of water mains by using a project management system.  Says Mercado signed  on to  the idea.

9:05

Here's a  break, the government has no redirect for Edwards so  he will not be back this morning.     Pratap Rajadhyaksha is the first witness today, he's self employed, but once worked at DLZ.  Assistant Prosecutor Blackwell asked him if he plays Bridge, he's says yes and he's competed all  over the world.

9:02

The picture is up, the attorneys and defendants are in the court room.  Bobby Ferguson is having an animated discussion with Susan VAn Dusen.   He's studying what looks like a manual, a thick paperback.  Kwame Kilpatrick is pouring through papers at his spot at the table.  And the "all rise" announcement is given and the jury is being brought in.

8:54

We're just waiting for the video feed from the court room to pop up on the big screen.  Daniel Edwards will be back on the stand again this morning.

 8:45

Good Morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House in balmy Detroit.  Hard to believe it was 62 degrees when I left the house this morning.

 

-Ken Martinek is Senior Producer -Investigations for Fox 2 News

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