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Ex-Detroit Water Department Director Gets 8 Months In Halfway House

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's water department chief has received a sentence of eight months in a halfway house for his role in a wide-ranging corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced 62-year-old Victor Mercado on Wednesday, also giving him two years' probation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Chutkow characterized Mercado as "a reluctant participant" in the conspiracy, saying he "did from time to time push back but compromised himself."

Mercado pleaded guilty to a single conspiracy charge in 2012 while on trial with Kilpatrick and others.

Before the sentencing, Mercado said he felt "horrible" and apologized to the judge and the city.

Mercado didn't get any bribes. But he admits helping Kilpatrick pal Bobby Ferguson get excavation contracts worth millions of dollars.

Kilpatrick is serving a 28-year prison sentence.

Longtime Kilpatrick friend Derrick Miller faces sentencing May 29.

Miller testified against the ex-mayor, admitting to delivering bribes to Kilpatrick from another contractor.  

Kilpatrick was convicted in March, 2013, of a sweeping scheme to enrich themselves through fixed contracts, bribes and kickbacks.  He remains behind bars, serving out his 28-year sentence.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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