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Bobby Ferguson appeal to get U.S. Supreme Court review

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The U.S. Supreme Court will review an appeal from Detroit contractor Bobby Ferguson, who was convicted of running a criminal enterprise along with former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The nation’s highest court on Nov. 13 added Ferguson’s case to its docket for review, after Ferguson’s attorney filed an appeal.

That means Ferguson will get a shot at asking the justices to overturn his public corruption conviction that sent him to prison for 21 years, but it’s not a guarantee the court will hold a hearing on the case or hear arguments.

Ferguson and Kilpatrick were found guilty of running a criminal enterprise out of the mayor's office in a five-month trial in 2013.

Kilpatrick also wants to overturn his public corruption conviction and 28-year prison sentence.

Harold Gurewitz, Kilpatrick’s attorney, said Monday that Kilpatrick’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court will be filed in mid-January. The cases are on different timelines, he said.

“Ours isn’t filed yet, but it will be,” Gurewitz said.

Authorities said Ferguson was the catalyst at the center of an extortion scheme that netted him millions of dollars in city contracts. He was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, extortion and bribery.

Kilpatrick was convicted of using his position as mayor of Detroit and state House representative to execute a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy involving extortion, bribery, and fraud.

Both Ferguson and Kilpatrick are seeking to overturn their convictions, alleging prejudicial testimony from federal agents during the trial.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed both convictions earlier this year.

Under its rules, the U.S. Supreme Court will take the case under consideration, but take action only if four of the nine justices vote to accept the case for a hearing.

jchambers@detroitnews.com