FBI Agents Raid Taylor City Hall In Corruption Investigation

February 19, 2019 - 3:24 pm

TAYLOR (WWJ) - The FBI executed multiple search warrants in the Downriver city of Taylor, as part of a public corruption investigation.

More than a dozen FBI Special Agents, with members of the Detroit Area Public Corruption Task Force, raided Taylor City Hall beginning at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, with video shot by WWJ Newsradio 950's Jon Hewett showing agents at work inside the office of Taylor Mayor Rick Sollars, early Tuesday afternoon.

A source told WWJ a warrant was also served at Sollars' home. 

As for what the FBI is after:

"We are searching for evidence; that's sort of, you know, the nature of the search warrant," FBI Special Agent Mara Schneider said. "And what that will be I can't say...just that we will be taking evidence."

In a statement issued later in the day, FBI Detroit Special Agent in Charge Timothy Slater said that, because this remains an open investigation, he won't be discussing what led to the raids.

"I understand the public will have questions about the specific allegations and who may be involved. And while I recognize the public’s right to know what the FBI is doing on its behalf, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of our investigation and, as importantly, we have a responsibility to protect the rights of individuals who have not been charged with any crimes," Slater said.

"As many of you know, the FBI is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating allegations of public corruption. As such, any time an allegation of corruption is brought to our attention, we will collect all available facts and evidence," Slater added.  "Once collected, it is our job to ensure they are reviewed in a thorough and impartial manner. And while we examine both facts and evidence in light of the federal criminal statutes, the US Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide whether or not to prosecute. If charges are ultimately filed, the substance of our investigation will become a matter of public record."

Sollars addressed media late Tuesday afternoon, saying he is fully cooperating with the investigation and will continue to do so to "make sure the people's work gets done."

“I did not see anything coming," Sollars said. "I don’t want to say anything more because I don’t want to jeopardize the investigation.”

Sollars called Taylor a "political hotbed" and said the city has always had its detractors.

“My track record speaks for itself and we worked really hard to get to this point, we will continue to work hard as we move forward and I think the residents that support me understand what I’m capable of and where my heart’s at.”

The FBI is requesting that citizens come forward with anything they may know that could help investigators with this case. 

The FBI has set up at hotline at 313-965-4545. Those who believe they have information relevant to this investigation may also submit tips online tips.fbi.gov.

The raids comes as Sollars -- who was elected to the mayor's office in 2013 after two terms on Taylor City Council -- is scheduled to deliver his State of the City address on Thursday. The mayor did not immediately return a call from WWJ for comment.

Stay tuned to WWJ Newsradio 950 for more the latest on this story.