What was the FBI's code name for the Kilpatrick investigation? - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

What was the FBI's code name for the Kilpatrick investigation?

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Bob Beeckman said the code name for the FBI's investigation into Detroit city hall corruption was "Bombay Dreams".  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Bob Beeckman said the code name for the FBI's investigation into Detroit city hall corruption was "Bombay Dreams". (Credit: Fox 2 News)

It is the musical that brought the queen of England to the theater for the first time in a decade, but if you're a fed in Detroit, "Bombay Dreams" is the top secret code name for the investigation into city hall corruption.

"It's a name that has nothing to do with anything, and that's why we picked it," said FBI Special Agent Bob Beeckman.

Did anybody say what the heck is Bombay Dreams?

"Nobody really cared at the time.  I think they trusted us to just pick something innocuous, and that's what we did," Beeckman said.

However, that is not all they did.  For nearly nine years, the feds built a case that led to the conviction of Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and Kilpatrick's father, Bernard, on corruption and tax charges.

"Pay to play worked for a number of years in Detroit.  Eventually when everything came down, that was the end of that road," said Beeckman.

Along the way, the feds took some hits, too.  Defense attorneys criticized their witnesses.

"You've got two people that are a party to that bribery, and you're going to have to give immunity to one of them if you want to hear the story," Beeckman said.

Others feel voters deserved to know Kilpatrick was under investigation while he ran for a second term.

"We're not going to substitute our opinion for that of the populace and just tilt an election and say, hey, let's leak this information and make sure the election goes to the challenger.  We'd be used as a political tool," said Beeckman.

While Beeckman opened up to a reporter for the first time in, well, just about ever, he could not comment directly on certain topics, such as whether he found any evidence the Manoogian Mansion party happened or whether Kilpatrick played a role in the death of the stripper known as Strawberry. However, he didn't appear to be a believer in either urban myth.

"So he's a liar, but not a killer?" I asked Beeckman.

"I'd go along with that, yeah," he answered.

Sending Kilpatrick and Ferguson to prison for up to 20 years or more should help clean up Detroit, but Beeckman said it is only a start.

"We're not going to end it for all time, but I don't think there's any debating that the United States Attorney Office has taken care of a very significant part of the corruption in Southeast Michigan with this case," he said.

"One of the big benefits of having a six month long trial is that, I think, Southeast Michigan got to see what was really going on there, and I don't hear that much anymore that it was a waste of resources."

Beeckman said he couldn't comment on whether Kilpatrick hid any money, but he was willing to disclose whether he feels sorry for the former mayor and his cronies.

"Naw," he said.

At the end of our unprecedented conversation, the man who heads the fed's Public Corruption Unit delivered this message to those who would dismiss the integrity of Detroiters.

"There really is, I think, an opinion that's held by some people that people from the city support people who are involved in corruption, and my opinion after talking to over a thousand people in this case is nothing could be further from the truth," Beeckman said.

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