S.E. Social Justice Breaking News Bulletin – Happening Now
The list of what the FBI and SLED seized at the Allendale Town Hall during political corruption raid – tens of thousands of records
11-17-17 8:30 p.m. ET
By Greg Peterson
S.E. Social Justice Breaking News
(Allendale, SC) – A state and federal probe into alleged corruption involving Allendale city officials appears to be much more in-depth and widespread than originally thought – as agents confiscated almost all city records amounting to tens of thousands of files and more.
Federal prosecutors – in a motion to seal the search warrant – stated officials feared tipping off “targets” of the probe – and that could result in the destruction of records and city officials fleeing to avoid prosecution.
For almost a month before the raid, only a handful of state and federal law enforcement and judicial officials knew of the pending search and seizure of tens of thousands of city records and the town hall.
In fact, the motion points out that tipping off suspects could result in danger to cooperating informants and witnesses in the corruption probe.
The motion to seal the search warrant information was prepared by Asst. U.S. Attorney Jay N. Richardson on behalf of South Carolina U.S. Attorney Beth Drake.
Records obtained by S.E. Social Justice Breaking News reveal the dozens of city records obtained on Oct. 3, 2017 when state and federal agents raid the Allendale, SC City Hall – serving a search warrant and seizing thousands of pages of records with no one present representing the city when agent burst through the door.
The raid was conducted by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Among the records seized were the “James Elmore Backhoe Injury File;”credit cards (Office Max, Home Depot); Water Department work orders; 2016 payroll records/ledgers, invoices, employee time sheets, hard drives, documents related to insurance and vehicle auction; several ledger books, numerous checkbook receipts, grant documents, documents from the insurance reserve fund; and much, much more.
In fact, it appears the probe into alleged corruption by city officials now appears to be much more sweeping than originally thought – as agents seized virtually all city records including most departments..
Here is a list of what the FBI and SLED seized:
The search warrant was signed on Sept. 27, 2017 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Paige Jones Gossett in Columbia, SC – and the agents were given until Oct. 11 to conduct the raid.
FBI Special Agent Deborah Gordon inventoried what agents were removing after the surprise raid at 9:06 a.m. ET on Oct. 3, 2017.
Agent Gordon states that no one was present at city hall to received a copy of the warrant and inventory.
The official inventory sheet or thousands of city records was signed by FBI Special Agent Clay Trippi on Oct. 10, 2017
Mayor Ronnie Jackson was quoted by local TV stations (WRDW, WJBF, WAGT) – reportedly telling one station the investigation has to do with use of a piece of city equipment on land that he owned.
The mayor denied taxpayer money had been stolen.
The mayor is quoted as saying Allendale City Administrator Dewayne Ennis was inside the building along with SLED and the FBI.
However search warrants states “no one was present” except for law enforcement officials.
Local news coverage: