FBI, IRS agents raid Cuyahoga County offices, homes in corruption probe

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO)- FBI and IRS agents in Ohio have served at least 10 search warrants at Cuyahoga County offices and homes as part of a public corruption investigation.

Hundreds of FBI agents descended on the county administration building in Cleveland as the searches began Monday. Agents also searched the county engineer's office, businesses and homes.

"This stems from a long-term public corruption investigation," FBI spokesman Scott Wilson said. "The warrants are sealed through the court and basically I cannot comment on anything that's being searched or seized."

Staffers at the county's information services center said they were told they could go home because they wouldn't be able to work. About 80 are employed at the center, which does computer work for various county agencies.

Wilson said no arrest warrants had been issued and county employees were cooperating with the investigation.

The following homes of Cuyahoga County Officials and employees have been raided by FBI and IRS Agents:

  • Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora

19 Action News has learned agents were at Dimora's Independence home from about 9AM-3PM Monday. Agents loaded about 30 boxes into a U-Haul as well as a computer hard drive. No one answered the door at the Dimora's house but sources say the Commissioner was home during the raid.

County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones has released the following statement about Commissioner Jimmy Dimora's home being raided "Jimmy Dimora is my friend and colleague, and I fervently hope and pray that when all is said and done, this is a mere tempest in a teapot."

  • Cuyahoga County Auditor Frank Russo

It appears federal officials are interested in outdoor construction and decorative items at Russo's home. Agents have been taking pictures and logging outdoor lamps in and around the newly constructed patio and pool area. A U-Haul truck arrived at Russo's Mayfield Village house around 2PM - it took FBI and IRS Agents about 15-20 minutes to load approximately 16 boxes into the truck.

  • Kevin Kelley

Kelley is an employee at Cuyahoga County Auditor's Office and a former Parma City Councilman. Agents from the FBI and IRS hung around Kelley's Parma home for several hours, boxing up evidence believed to be files and computer discs.

No one would say exactly what was confiscated in the raid - and neither would Kelley's Attorney.

The following buildings have been raided by FBI and IRS Agents:

  • Cuyahoga County Administration Building - 3rd and 4th floors ( Auditor's Offices and Commissioner's Offices)

Approximately 25 agents from Youngstown, Toledo, Cleveland, took over the third and fourth floors of the Cuyahoga County Administration Building located at Ontario and Lakeside.

The third and fourth floors house the Cuyahoga County Auditor and the Cuyahoga County Commissioner's offices.

Employees entering the building were met by FBI and IRS agents, writing down their contact information and were told to go home and not say a word about what is going on.

  • Cuyahoga County Data Center

Agents blocked off the fourth floor of the County Data Center located at 1255 Euclid Avenue and have seized boxes of material.

  • DAS Construction Company

FBI Agents on scene of DAS Construction Company located at 9500 Midwest in Garfield Heights all day Monday. 19 Action News witnessed seized items coming from the company in boxes and flashes from pictures being taken inside.

  • Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office

Agents reportedly shut down networks and checking systems.

WOIO-TV contributed this report.

  • The Associated Press contributed material to this story.