DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Hundreds of people have been called to the Detroit federal courthouse to fill out a jury questionnaire in the corruption trial of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, pal Bobby Ferguson and ex-Detroit water boss Victor Mercado are required to be in court Wednesday when Judge Nancy Edmunds greets prospective jurors on another floor and explains the 22-page questionnaire.
After years of publicity about Kilpatrick and his scandalous time at Detroit city hall, the judge wants to screen a large pool of jurors. The goal is to start interviewing a certain number of them in court on Sept. 6.
Opening statements could occur Sept. 14 in a trial that will last months.
The 38-count indictment alleges corruption regarding city contracts totaling at least $100 million, involving racketeering conspiracy, extortion, fraud, bribery and tax evasion. The charges carry penalties ranging from three to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the Kilpatricks ran a brazen pay-to-play scheme in which they took kickbacks and bribes to steer city business to certain contractors, especially Ferguson and Mercado — robbing taxpayers of millions of dollars.
All four men have maintained their innocence.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for continuing coverage.
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