DETROIT (AP) — Companies headed by a longtime friend of embattled Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick won millions of dollars in contracts while the friend secretly consulted with the mayor's chief of staff, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Detroit Free Press said records and text messages it obtained indicated that Bobby Ferguson and companies he partnered with have collected at least $45 million in city contracts.

The text messages from 2002 and 2003 show that then-chief of staff Christine Beatty provided Ferguson with bid strategies and sensitive information on potential projects. The mayor was directly involved in at least one discussion about Ferguson's bid strategy, the Free Press reported.