Police on Wednesday raided at least two Madison County offices and temporarily sealed them with police tape.
Madison County Sheriff’s Lt. David Vucich confirmed that offices were raided in the county’s administration building. Vucich said the Sheriff’s Department has assisted in the investigation but is not the lead agency.
“During an investigation, eight search warrants were secured and executed at offices in the county administration building,” Vucich said. “The Sheriff’s Department received a criminal complaint from an undisclosed source regarding violations of state and/or federal law, and an investigation was started.”
Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said that his office received information during the later months of 2017.
After receiving the information, Gibbons called for the formation of an investigative task force comprising state, county and local law enforcement to “investigate and determine the extent of wrongdoing,” according to a press release issued by Gibbons’ office Wednesday afternoon.
“The search warrants executed today are the result of significant evidence developed by the Madison County Public Corruption Task Force, as part of a larger, ongoing investigation,” Gibbons wrote in the release. “Because of the highly sensitive nature of the investigation, no comments will be made by investigators or others until such time as is legally appropriate. At that point, we will make information available to the public and media.”
County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said he wasn’t aware of the nature of the investigation. Prenzler said he returned from lunch and saw police tape on the office of County Administrator Doug Hulme. Hulme said he didn’t know what the investigation was about.
Prenzler said police gave him a receipt for more than 30 items they seized, which “generally appear to be computers and records.”
Prenzler added: “They didn’t question me. There was no yellow tape on my door. They didn’t take my computer.”
One office raided was that of the county’s public relations manager, Cynthia Ellis, who also said she didn’t know what the investigation was about.
“I don’t know any more than you do right now,” Ellis said.
County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza said she asked police if anyone was in immediate danger and was told there was no danger.