Ex-official: Kilpatrick appointee ordered certification revoked

Ex-Detroit official: Kilpatrick appointee ordered DLZ's certification revoked

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Gerald Grant Phillips was a Kilpatrick appointee and the head of the Detroit Human Rights Department.  That may be why, when he got a call from the mayor's office, he ordered an underling to revoke contractor DLZ's Detroit headquartered certification.

At least that's the story Kim Harris, the underling, told in court Thursday.  The former Detroit Human Rights official also testified that the order felt like tampering -- tampering that helped Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson's team land a multi-million dollar contract.

Ferguson attorney Mike Rataj dismissed Harris' testimony.  He'd like to talk to Phillips, but that's not going to happen.

"Unfortunately, we're at a disadvantage in this particular case because we can't cross examine a dead guy," he said.

But prosecutors had another card to play Thursday using text messages between Kilpatrick and Ferguson to show how they believe $10 million that was supposed to go to Lakeshore Engineering ended up in a Contract 1361 -- a deal that ultimately included Ferguson.

Ferguson: 1361 is the same contract, 1361 prices maybe less than the other one, but hey you know the rest.

Kilpatrick: Cool!

Ferguson attorney Gerald Evelyn said the texts are just words taken out of context.

"When the whole case plays out, there'll be more context to it."

Defense attorneys did a great job Wednesday raising questions about whether Kilpatrick and Ferguson played games with contracts, but explaining away the text message and the dead man's word may present their greatest challenge yet.

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