This is getting all too familiar…
Another Dem has been found suspect of corruption and been raided by the FBI.
This time it was Chicago City Ald. Carrie Austin who had her office raided by the FBI.
Especially in Chicago, federal investigations of city leaders are becoming a popular scene.
Take a look at this news that hit Twitter:
The Chicago Tribune has more to say about the raid:
What has become a familiar scene of federal agents rifling through a Chicago alderman’s office played out again Wednesday, this time on Chicago’s Far South Side as the FBI raided the 34th Ward office of influential Ald. Carrie Austin.
The second longest-serving active member of the Chicago City Council, Austin became yet another veteran alderman to come under the cloud of a federal investigation.
The FBI served a search warrant at Austin’s ward office on West 111th Street on Wednesday morning, according to a law enforcement source. In a statement, the FBI said it was conducting “court-authorized law enforcement activities” in the area of Austin’s office. But further reasons behind the search were not immediately available.
“Any time the FBI executes a search warrant of an elected official’s government office is a shocking development,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor, said later at an unrelated news conference. “So I know what you know, which is not a lot at this point.”
The raid comes less than a month after 14th Ward Ald. Edward Burke, the City Council’s longest-tenured member, was indicted on sweeping racketeering charges alleging he used his clout to steer business to his private law firm from developers seeking action at City Hall. There was no indication Wednesday’s search was connected to Burke.
Chicago Sun Times also commented:
Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) was praising the Lord at a school event Wednesday morning, saying “today is a day truly that God has made because he made us the star of the show,” when federal agents a few miles away were thrusting her center stage into Chicago’s hottest criminal investigation.
While Austin was talking about a school mentoring program, alongside Mayor Lori Lightfoot at Percy Julian High School, FBI agents were raiding her ward office as part of the ongoing political corruption investigations of Chicago aldermen.
With the public raid, Austin, 70, joins the select company of veteran, powerful Chicago aldermen implicated in the investigations.
Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th) was indicted in May in a wide-ranging political corruption racketeering case.
Helping the feds build that case was former Ald. Danny Solis, who was implicated in wrongdoing himself by the feds and secretly recorded Burke and others for more than two years by wearing a wire.
After the Sun-Times first reported in January that Solis was wearing a wire, Austin told reporters: “Not about Danny. I might cry. You don’t do that. You just don’t.”
Burke has denied any wrongdoing. Solis has not been charged.
Austin, who is second in seniority on the City Council after Burke, has not been accused of any wrongdoing and did not return phone messages. No one answered the door at her home Wednesday afternoon.
At an unrelated news conference Wednesday afternoon, Lightfoot said she saw no indication at the school event that Austin knew of the search warrant and said it’s always a “shocking development” whenever a public official’s office is raided.
While it’s unclear what prompted the raid, agents came in force and left with boxes of records and at least one computer from the ward office Wednesday afternoon.
NBC Chicago has more details on why the raid happened:
A day after federal agents raided the offices of Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin, new details are beginning to emerge over what exactly it was they were looking for.
On Thursday, NBC 5 learned about questions surrounding the home Austin built three years ago. The home is in an area where the alderman requested a zoning change, and it was also part of a TIF district, according to sources.
Documents show that Austin requested a zoning change in April 2016 for the land where her home, as well as a group of condominiums, were built.
The developers building the project received a $3.6 million TIF for six single family homes and 80 condos, according to the documents.
Just four months after the zoning upgrade on the land, Austin received a building permit to build a $300,000 home on the site. The land she owns in the area, a total of 70,000 square feet, is valued at nearly $900,000.
The investigation into Austin is part of a growing effort from federal investigators into the workings of the Chicago City Council. Austin, who is the former Chairman of the Budget Committee, is just the latest alderman to come under scrutiny, as Alderman Ed Burke’s offices were raided last November, and Alderman Danny Solis, once chairman of the Zoning Committee, was also involved in the investigation.