Macomb County to Kilpatrick: We want our money back

Jul 19, 2011

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick faces federal charges that he ran the city’s water department like an organized crime syndicate. Now, one county served by the water department wants some of that money back. From the Detroit Free Press:

Macomb County wants $25.5 million from former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his former aide, his former contractor friend and former director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department saying they schemed to overcharge the county for a work on a collapsed sewer line in Sterling Heights.

The Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court. It states the county was charged $54 million for the work near 15 Mile and Hayes in 2004 and 2005 but an independent evaluation of the project conducted after Kilpatrick was indicted in December on federal racketeering charges showed the total project cost should not have exceeded $29 million.

It’s unlikely Kilpatrick and his indicted co-conspirators—including his father Bernard, friend and former city contractor Bobby Ferguson, and former DWSD head Victor Mercado-- could ever come up with the money, especially since Kilpatrick still owes the city of Detroit more than $800,000. But Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel says “inappropriate actions on behalf of public officials and contractors cannot go unchallenged.”

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department serves about 4 million people in southeast Michigan.