Officers raided offices at the Detroit City Hall on Wednesday while also raiding the homes of two corrupt Democrats, Janee Ayers and Scott Benson.
Federal agents were seen carrying large boxes and cases of evidence out of the office and homes of each of the Democrats.
A search warrant was also executed at the home of Benson’s chief of staff.
Speaking with the reporters outside city hall, FBI special agent Tim Waters said:
“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.”
“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.
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.
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. That’s how I look at it,” said Merlynn Sargent.
“He’s done so much for the community,” she said of Benson. “As a matter of fact, I voted for him.”
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