TAYLOR, Mich. - The mayor of Taylor was still at the City Council Meeting Tuesday night despite having his home raided by the FBI as part of a public corruption investigation.
Despite not being on the agenda, the FBI probe into public corruption overshadowed everything else.
Mayor Rick Sollars conducts Taylor city business amidst the cloud of a federal investigation. FBI agents snapped pictures and served warrants at the mayor's office. It turns out the agents were collecting evidence at City Hall and at the mayor's house.
Investigators carried out boxes in what's being called a public corruption investigation. The mayor answered questions before trying to continue on to city business but Taylor residents were watching and wondering.
At a packed City Council chamber the mayor asked the community for patience and privacy. And despite standing room only, no one spoke about the FBI raid in the open meeting.
While the public corruption probe gets underway the mayor did not answer one key question. Which was: Are you in fact innocent in what they're alleging in this public corruption case?
The mayor said he hasn't read the details of the search warrants and has not hired an attorney yet. It's unclear how long the investigation will last.
FBI agents conducted raids at Taylor City Hall and several other locations around the area as part of a public corruption investigation, FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater said.
Taylor police said City Hall is cooperating with the FBI.
Here is a full statement from Slater:
"Earlier today, FBI Special Agents and members of the Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force executed multiple search warrants at Taylor City Hall and in several other locations around the area. The warrants were conducted as part of an ongoing public corruption investigation. Because this is an open investigation, I will not be discussing any of the details that led to today’s action.
"However, I understand the public will have questions about the specific allegations and who may be involved. And while I recognize the public’s right to know what the FBI is doing on its behalf, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our investigation and, as importantly, we have a responsibility to protect the rights of individuals who have not been charged with any crimes.
"As many of you know, the FBI is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating allegations of public corruption. As such, any time an allegation of corruption is brought to our attention, we will collect all available facts and evidence. Once collected, it is our job to ensure they are reviewed in a thorough and impartial manner. And while we examine both facts and evidence in light of the federal criminal statutes, the US Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide whether or not to prosecute. If charges are ultimately filed, the substance of our investigation will become a matter of public record.
"With that in mind, we encourage anyone who believes they have information relevant to this investigation to reach out to the FBI. We have a hotline set up at 313-965-4545. You may also submit tips online at tips.fbi.gov."
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