Bobby Ferguson, 52, was recently released from prison and is now home with his family after his prison sentence was interrupted last Thursday, WXYZ reported.
Ferguson (friends with former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick) was convicted of bribery and extortion along with Kilpatrick, in the city hall corruption investigation.
He served eight years of his 21-year sentence and was released in similar fashion to Kilpatrick in January.
In one of his last presidential acts, President Donald Trump used his presidential pardon to grant clemency to 140 federal prisoners including Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick, who was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison also on charges of racketeering in his city corruption case, served seven years of his total sentence before President Trump commuted the remainder of his sentence.
“Obviously he’s in good spirits and very happy to be around his wife and his children,” said attorney Michael Rataj in the article. “He’s had 5 grandchildren that have been born since he’s been incarcerated. So he’s going to take the next couple of weeks and decompress.”
“Ferguson’s sentence was extraordinarily long for the crimes that were committed in terms of the average sentence for those crimes,” said Rataj in the article.
Federal prosecutors said that both Kilpatrick and Ferguson should stay in prison for stealing from the taxpayers. Yet Judge Nancy Edmonds approved granting Ferguson compassionate release based on his health problems (he was more susceptible to contracting COVID-19) and Kilpatrick’s commutation, per the article.
“She understood our arguments and she ignored the venomous and vitriolic arguments that were advanced by the government and ignored them. So we were grateful to her for that as well,” said Rataj in the story.
Ferguson is responsible for $6.2 million in paying the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department back. Rataj said there isn’t a timeline yet in how he will be able to pay back the funds.
“He lost his livelihood, he lost everything. I mean you go to prison you lose everything. You got to start from scratch. And that’s not something you just figure out within the first 24 hours of being released,” said Rataj in the article.
Former U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said Ferguson’s prison release is “premature.”
“Just like Kwame Kilpatrick, Ferguson is an unapologetic criminal, and he should stay in prison for his appalling crimes against the people of Detroit,” Schneider said.
Read the full story here.