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Kwame Kilpatrick's federal corruption trial underway in Detroit

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s public corruption trial officially started in federal court Thursday.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, longtime friend and former city contractor Bobby Ferguson, and former water department head Victor Mercado are on trial together.

The four men face a number of charges, centering around allegations that they ran the water department as something like a criminal enterprise.

Jury selection was underway Thursday.

Defense lawyers questioned potential jurors’ closely about their feelings on race, particularly toward African Americans.

They also posed questions about jurors’ feelings toward witnesses who cooperate with the government in exchange for more lenient sentences.

Jury selection is expected to continue into next week.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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