Contractor Admits to Bid-Rigging, Implicates Former Mayor’s Longtime Pal

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Will Ferguson join pal Kilpatrick in prison?

A hauling contractor says he’s ready to admit to manipulating a City of Detroit bid process, then lying to a federal grand jury about it. Rodney Burrell, owner of R & R Heavy Haulers, was charged by authorities in a scheme to inflate competing bids on a city public housing contract, in order to throw the contract to Bobby Ferguson, a crony of disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

According to court records, Burrell and another contractor, Brian Dodds, submitted bogus bids for a demolition contract to make it appear that Ferguson had the lowest bid.  Ferguson was awarded an $11.9 million contract for the Garden View Estates housing project.

In return for his phony bid, Dodds was given a $300,000 subcontract from Ferguson. Dodds has since pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced in January. In September, authorities charged Ferguson and the others with fraud and money laundering in connection with the contract on the housing project, largely funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The City of Detroit has been rocked by widespread corruption and scandals in recent years, most of which involved former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his associates. Kilpatrick resigned from office in 2008, after being charged with 10 felonies, including perjury, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. He is currently serving time in federal prison in Milan, Michigan.

Detroit Free Press

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