CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish says he was “surprised” when multiple agents with BCI and the FBI came calling, with subpoenas in hand Thursday morning.
“I have done absolutely nothing wrong,” said Budish.
The agents showed up around 11:45 a.m. and spent four hours raiding Budish’s office on the 8th floor at the county administration building on E. 9th Street in downtown Cleveland.
They left with five boxes and two hard drives.
When asked who the hard drives belonged to, Director of Communications, Mary Louise Madigan replied, “One to Armond and I don’t know who the other belonged to.”
Budish was asked to leave during the search along with the other employees.
The FOX 8 I-TEAM learned that the raid may be connected to an on-going Grand Jury investigation that began over IT contracts, but seems to have pivoted toward the jail.
“We’ve complied with every request for every document for a year, we totally cooperated and there’s absolutely no reason to conduct a very public raid of my office,” said Budish.
A Grand Jury subpoena filed on February 7 requested all incoming and outgoing phone calls for the former director of the Cuyahoga County Jail, Ken Mills. The subpoena also asks for the complete contents of email accounts possessed by several people: Budish; Brandy Carney, Chief Public Safety and Justice Services officer; Maggie Keenan, director of the county’s Office of Budget and Management; Ed Morales, the county’s director of Human Resources for Employee and Labor Relations; and Douglas Dykes, Cuyahoga County Chief Talent Officer.
The FBI referred all requests for information to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. A spokesperson said they are not commenting at this time because it’s an ongoing investigation.
Budish calls what happened Thursday a “political circus.”
“I want to assure the citizens of Cuyahoga County that I have done nothing wrong. There is absolutely no substance to any complaint against me. We have complied with every request for every document for a year. We’ve totally cooperated and there’s absolutely no reason to conduct a very public raid of my office when they could’ve just asked for anything, as they’ve done for a year, and we’d have given it to them,” Budish told FOX 8 via phone, “I worked my entire life to build a reputation for honesty and integrity and I will not let a political attack destroy that. And that’s what this is, it’s a political attack.”