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Investigators Sought Cuyahoga County Jail Records In Budish Office Raid

The investigators who raided Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s office on Thursday sought Budish’s electronic records, files on the county jail and any evidence of extortion, obstruction and other crimes, according to a search warrant provided by the county.

Agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation left the county building with files on jail complaints, two desktop computers, an iPhone and other folders of documents, according to an inventory left with county officials.

The warrant sought any records referring to a May 2018 county council meeting, in which the jail nursing director Gary Brack accused jail director Ken Mills of blocking the hiring of nurses. MetroHealth later pulled Brack from his job at the jail, according to a county inspector general’s report. Authorities also sought any files on a meeting the next day at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Investigators also looked for any files on a proposal to privatize medical care at the jail. The warrant names NaphCare, a company that specializes in correctional healthcare.

Mills, who resigned in November, was indicted last month along with a current county employee and a former one. Prosecutors accuse Mills of lying to county council at the May 2018 meeting.  He has pleaded not guilty.

The warrant also sought any evidence of extortion, coercion, obstructing official business, intimidation, tampering with government records, violating civil rights and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The county provided a copy of the warrant and inventory in response to a public records request.

Budish has maintained his innocence, saying in a written statement Thursday that the raid was “without justification” and appeared to be politically motivated.

“I am in this office to improve lives of people across this county,” Budish said in his statement. “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.”

Budish also released a video responding to the raid:

Read the search warrant below. Mobile users can view here.  

February 14 2019 Warrant (Text)

Read the search warrant inventory below. Mobile users can view here.  

Inventory Form Warrant 21419 (Text)

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