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High court refuses to hear Bobby Ferguson appeal

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear 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 denied Ferguson’s petition, which means Ferguson will not get a shot at asking the justices to overturn his public corruption conviction that sent him to prison for 21 years.

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, told the News last month that Kilpatrick’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court will be filed in mid-January. The cases are on different timelines, he 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.