Victor Mercado - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Victor Mercado

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Victor Mercado was a veteran manager of water utilities when Kwame Kilpatrick hired him to run the Detroit Water and Sewerage 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.

The most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Mercado has said he did nothing wrong and accused his co-defendants of dirty dealing.

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