CLEVELAND — The FOX I-Team learned authorities, including BCI and the FBI, searched the office of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish on Thursday.
Director of Communications, Mary Louise Madigan, told the I-Team: “Law enforcement is here. We’re cooperating. And we’ll continue to cooperate.” Thursday afternoon, Madigan said authorities were searching for documents. Five boxes and two hard drives were carried out of the office.
Budish said he’s done nothing wrong; he’s taking this seriously. He 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.”
Earlier Thursday, he released the following statement to FOX 8:
“Today federal and state authorities raided my office. This is part of the ongoing investigation into the County Administration.
First, I want to make it clear that I and my administration have been completely forthcoming and transparent throughout this process.
We have been fully cooperative and readily supplied all information and document requested.
I want to state very clearly I have done nothing wrong.
This latest development is without justification. I can only say that it is what looks like a political move. We have taken this investigation very seriously. Unfortunately, the actions today have turned into a political circus.
I am in this office to improve lives of people across this county. That is what I have done every day since I was elected and that is what I will continue to do. I made a promise to the people of this county and I will keep it. I will not let them down.”
Dave O’Neil earlier said the state Attorney General office couldn’t comment on an ongoing investigation.
About half a dozen officers arrived at Budish’s office at around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, and left just before 4 p.m.
The latest Grand Jury subpoena served on Cuyahoga County asks for a record of 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.
FOX 8 has learned Budish was in the building when agents arrived. According to Madigan, agents asked people to leave while they did their work. They were instructed they could come back when agents were done.
We will continue to have the very latest on FOX 8 News and FOX8.com.