Ferguson attorney tries to undermine contractor's credibility

Ferguson attorney tries to undermine contractor's credibility

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Prosecutors treated him with kid gloves, but Monday a key government witness started to feel the heat as the defense started asking questions.

The top item on their Cyber Monday list?  Making good on their pre-Thanksgiving prophecy.

"The direct exam is the process of fattening up the turkey.  The cross exam will (be) when the turkey gets killed," said Mike Rataj before the holiday.

The turkey in this case is Avanash Rachmale, the head of Lakeshore Engineering.  Rachmale says he hired Bobby Ferguson mainly because he was afraid of losing city contracts.

Ferguson attorney Gerald Evelyn sought to undermine Rachmale's credibility Monday, highlighting his relationship with a worker in Detroit city hall whose wife had a business with Rachmale.

Evelyn asked Rachmale if the city worker helped him get city contracts and pointed out that the city worker had an office at Lakeshore's headquarters, as well as a pass key to the building and an email account provided by Lakeshore.

However, Rachmale denied the city worker was ever employed by Lakeshore, calling him a longtime friend.

Rachmale also testified that Bernard Kilpatrick did not tell him to seek Fergunson's help freeing up city contracts, a point that could help the mayor's father in his bid for an acquittal.

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