FBI agents raided Detroit City Hall on Wednesday as part of a growing public corruption investigation.
The homes of city council members Janeé Ayers and Scott Benson and the living spaces of their chiefs of staff and other employees were also targeted as part of a search for evidence related to municipal towing operations and accusations that city officials are receiving bribes, sources told the Detroit Times.
The raids took place roughly three weeks after Councilman André Spivey was arraigned in federal court on a count of conspiracy to commit bribery. Spivey and a staffer were accused of accepting more than $35,000 in bribery payments from 2016 to 2020, and Spivey was released on a $10,000 bond. He has maintained he did nothing wrong.
Janeé Ayers was a union leader from a family of union leaders. This could just be the beginning of the unwinding of the Detroit city government.
Just as former Detroit City Council member Gabe Leland pleaded guilty and resigned from his post, it is expected Spivey will do the same as part of his plea agreement that could come as early as next week.
The Detroit City Council has nine members.
Leland’s seat in District 7 is still empty. Spivey represents District 4. Benson represents District 3. Ayers is City Council at Large.
It’s now possible that almost half of the Detroit City Council could be charged with crimes making it almost uniquely dysfunctional. Even by Detroit standards.