News has broke of an embarrassing arrest that puts a spotlight of Democratic corruption at the local level.
The FBI has raided the offices at the Detroit City Hall this week and the homes of two Democratic City Council members as a part of their ongoing corruption probes.
Federal officers conducted a search warrant at the homes and offices of two members of the city council, Scott Benson and Janee Ayers, both Democrats, as well as Benson’s chief of staff’s home.
FBI special agent Tim Waters spoke to the media outside of city hall about these raids.
“Why are is this happening? Why are these search warrants happening? Because Detroit citizens have a right to a government that is free from corruption,” stated Waters.
He made it certain that no charges have been filed so far in the FBI’s investigation.
“Simply what we are doing today is gathering evidence which will be given to the U.S. attorney in the Eastern district of the state, who will make all the choices about charging in this continuing investigation,” he said.
Two sources informed the Detroit News that the investigation was connected to alleged bribes given to city officials in connection to municipal towing operations.
The raids came only weeks after Detroit City Council member Andre Spivey was arraigned for one charge of conspiracy to commit bribery. His next court date is September 28.
City Council member Raquel Castañeda-López said in a comment that she was “heartbroken and horrified” about these raids, but added she would push for “mandatory yearly training about the city’s ethics ordinance” to aid city officials in avoiding committing corruption.
One of Benson’s neighbors told the Detroit News she was stunned to see the councilman’s home getting raided.
“In my opinion, when you have the FBI, they have already been investigating you and then they raid your home looking for more evidence. That is how I look at it,” said Merlynn Sargent.
“He is done so much for the city,” she said of Benson. “I voted for him.”
Author: Scott Dowdy