While the Detroit City Council was still considering a legal services contract with Miller Canfield, to investigate contractors linked to disgraced former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, former Director Victor Mercado and contractor Bobby Ferguson (here), Macomb County was busy preparing its own lawsuit to recover millions of dollars in allegedly inflated sewer repair bills dating to 2004.
Earlier today, the Macomb Interceptor Drain Drainage District fired the first volley when it filed a six-count civil lawsuit in U.S. District Court against 40 contractors involved in the repair of the 15 Mile sewer interceptor in Sterling Heights.
The lawsuit alleges that the Co-Defendants, led by Kwame Kilpatrick, Victor Mercado, Bobby Ferguson and Inland Waters Pollution Control, participated in a scheme to inflate repair costs associated with the 15 Mile sanitary sewer interceptor that collapsed on August 22, 2004. The sewer was repaired by DWSD under an emergency contract.
Macomb County alleges that Inland Waters originally proposed a repair budget of $31.7 million to DWSD, but that final costs ballooned to $54.4 million due to inflated invoices submitted by Inland Waters and its subcontractors, including $350,000 paid to Ferguson Enterprises for which no work was allegedly performed.
Macomb County seeks to recover $23 to $26 million from the 40 Co-Defendants under counts for civil racketeering (RICO), anti-trust violations, both the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and Clayton Anti-Trust Acts, and fraud.