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Monday, January 24, 2022

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    FBI raids Detroit’s city hall and council members’ homes in corruption probe

    Detroit — FBI agents were executing search warrants at the homes of Detroit City Council members Janee Ayers and Scott Benson and at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on Wednesday morning, the latest escalation of a federal corruption investigation that has already led to charges against Councilman Andre Spivey.

    The searches come three weeks after Spivey was arraigned in federal court on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery over claims he accepted more than $35,000 to be “influenced and rewarded” for votes.

    Ayers, 39, is seeking a second, four-year term as an at-large council member in the Nov. 2 general election. Benson, 51, was unopposed in this month’s primary and also advanced to the general election. He is seeking a third term representing northeast Detroit in District 3.

    Wednesday’s raids represent the largest federal investigation into City Hall corruption in the eight years since former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering conspiracy charges and sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. President Trump commuted the sentence in January.

    In the Spivey case, federal authorities contend he and another unnamed official, identified in filings as “Public Official A,” accepted bribes in exchange for votes on the Detroit City Council and in subcommittees from 2016 to 2020. 

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