FBI Raids Homes & Offices of Two Detroit Democrats
Democratic members of the City Council raided as a part of federal corruption probe
The FBI has raided the homes and offices of two Democrat officials in Detroit, Michigan, as part of an ongoing federal corruption probe, according to reports.
Agents raided offices at the Detroit City Hall on Wednesday while also turning over the homes of two Democratic members of the City Council, Janee Ayers and Scott Benson.
Federal investigators were seen carrying boxes and cases of evidence out of the office building and private residences of each of the Democrats.
A search warrant was also executed at the home of Benson's chief of staff.
Speaking with the media outside the city hall, FBI special agent Tim Waters addressed the raids.
"Why are we doing this? Why are we doing these search warrants? Because the citizens of Detroit have a right to a city government that is free of corruption," Waters said.
He made it clear that so far no charges had been filed in the investigation.
"Simply what we're doing today is collecting evidence which will be presented to the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of Michigan, who will make all the decisions on charging in this ongoing investigation," he added.
Two sources told the Detroit News that the investigation was related to alleged bribes paid to city officials in relation to municipal towing operations.
The raids came just weeks after Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey was arraigned on one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery in federal court.
Spivey's next court date is Sept. 28, according to The Blaze.
City Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López said in a statement that she was "horrified and heartbroken" over the raids, but added that she would press for "mandatory annual training on the city's ethics ordinance" to help city officials avoid committing corruption.
A neighbor to Benson told the Detroit News she was shocked to see the councilman's home being raided.
"In my opinion, when you see the FBI, they've already been investigating you and they raid your house looking for the evidence now," said Merlynn Sargent.
"That's how I look at it.
"He's done so much for the community," she said of Benson.
"As a matter of fact, I voted for him."