DETROIT (WJBK) – One of the key players in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial is expected to plead guilty today.
FOX 2′s M.L. Elrick reports Victor Mercado, the former head of the Detroit Water and Sewage Department, will plead guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion, a five-year felony.
The hearing is scheduled in front of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds at 10:30 a.m.
Mercado was a veteran manager of water utilities when Kwame Kilpatrick hired him to run the department, which provides water and sewer service to most of southeastern Michigan.
With his salary of $240,000, Mercado made more than even the mayor’s $176,000 salary. Mercado won praise as a competent manager who limited water rate increases and tried to work with suburban customers.
Federal investigators said he didn’t take any money, but helped the mayor and Ferguson extort millions from city contractors. A federal grand jury indicted him on four counts of racketeering, extortion and obstruction of justice.