CLEVELAND, Ohio — Warrants reveal new information regarding what agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation seized when the office of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish was raided Thursday morning.
A search warrant provided to News 5 states authorities raided Budish's office looking for criminal evidence of extortion, intimidation, obstructing official business, tampering with records and civil rights violations.
Search warrant for #Cuyahoga County Exec Armond #Budish’s office shows investigators looking for evidence of extortion, coercion, intimidation, tampering w/gov’t records, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, obstructing official business & violating civil rights @WEWS pic.twitter.com/cFmhAQUvoe— Scott Noll (@ScottNoll_News) February 15, 2019
When authorities left Budish's office later Thursday afternoon, they took five boxes of evidence with them.
An inventory of the items seized includes files relating to the Cuyahoga County Jail, computer hard drives and an iPhone.
Many of the items seized appear to center on issues involving the county jail. In particular, investigators were looking for evidence referring to plans to regionalize the jail, consolidate medical screenings of inmates and well as medical staffing at the jail, according to the warrant.
One piece of evidence authorities were after were files pertaining to the privatization of the Cuyahoga County Jail medical services, according to the inventory list.
The warrant also included any files relating to criminal investigations involving deaths or assaults in the Cuyahoga County Jail. Eight inmates died last year while incarcerated in the jail.
You can read more about the Cuyahoga County Jail investigation here.
Following the raid, Budish released the following statement:
"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 that 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 it 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."
You can read the warrant and inventory below: