FBI Raids Detroit City Hall in Corruption Probe

Agents also raided homes of Democratic city council members

Detroit city council members Janée Ayers (D.) and Scott Benson (D.) / City of Detroit website
August 25, 2021

FBI agents on Wednesday raided Detroit's city hall and the homes of city council members Janeé Ayers (D.) and Scott Benson (D.) as part of a corruption investigation.

The FBI agents executed warrants to search the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, which serves as Detroit's city hall, and Ayers's and Benson's houses. While the investigation's exact focus has not yet been released to the public, investigators have already brought corruption charges against Councilman André Spivey (D.).

"The citizens of Detroit have a right to a city government that's free of corruption," special agent Timothy Waters told reporters on the day of the raids.

Ayers is running for a second term and Benson for a third term in November. Ayers's name came up in a federal bribery investigation three years ago, though she faced no charges.

While Detroit has a long history of political corruption, the probe is the largest federal investigation into the city's politicians in eight years, according to the Detroit News. In 2013, then-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D.) was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on racketeering charges. His sentence was commuted this year by former president Donald Trump.