Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s computer hard drive taken during FBI raid

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s computer hard drive taken during FBI raid

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation raided the offices of Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish on Thursday.

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s computer hard drive taken during FBI raid

The search at the Cuyahoga County Administration Building near East 9th Street and Huron Avenue commenced at 11:45 a.m. and lasted for several hours before approximately nine federal and state agents left just after 3:30 p.m.

According to Cuyahoga County spokesperson Mary Louise Madigan, two computer hard drives, including the hard drive of Budish, one envelope, and five boxes of materials were taken during the raid.

A statement released by Budish on Thursday described the search and seizure as a “political circus.”

"Today federal and state authorities raided my office. This is part of the ongoing investigation into the County Administration.

First, I want to make it clear that I and my administration have been completely forthcoming and transparent throughout this process.

We have been fully cooperative and readily supplied all information and document requested.

I want to state very clearly that I have done nothing wrong.

This latest development is without justification. I can only say that it is what looks like a political move. We have taken this investigation very seriously. Unfortunately, the actions today have turned it into a political circus.

I am in this office to improve lives of people across this county. That is what I have done every day since I was elected and that is what I will continue to do. I made a promise to the people of this county and I will keep it. I will not let them down."

Cleveland 19 News reporter Paul Orlousky said he was told that the executive offices on the eighth floor were off limits for several hours during the investigation.

Budish, who took office as the County Executive in 2015, was not in the building at the time of the raid. Before serving in his current role, Budish served four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives and founded the law firm Budish, Solomon, Steiner, & Peck.

Several Cuyahoga County officials were recently indicted for their role in a county corruption probe. It is not clear if Thursday’s raid is related in any way.

Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chair Rob Frost says he won’t jump to conclusions but did say the raid makes it a sad day for Cuyahoga County, “We have provisions for recall, we actually have a provision that says if you violate the ethics provision of our charter you’re declared to have forfeited your office.”

Frost added that he will wait to see where the evidence leads, but said it is a leadership issue, “We may be in a position where we need to see this county executive resign very soon and that’s not a partisan statement.”

Dan Brady, the county council president and also a Democrat would, according to the county charter, be next in line for the executive job.

This is a developing story. Additional details will be provided when they become available.

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