Ousted Detroit Mayor's Corruption Trial Starts

Case expected to take four months


A decade in the making, the federal government's public corruption probe targeting former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and three others officially gets underway with opening statements Friday, following a turbulent week of grueling jury selection and a last-minute change of venue request.

The request was denied Thursday, setting the stage for what is expected to be a four-month trial that begins at 9 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard Kilpatrick; his longtime friend, Bobby Ferguson; and ex-city water boss Victor Mercado are charged with running a criminal enterprise through the mayor's office to enrich themselves. Specifically, they are accused of rigging water contracts and extorting city contractors to steer work Ferguson's way.