By J. PATRICK PEPPER
DEARBORN — For the third time in less than a year, FBI agents searched Building and Safety Department offices at City Hall Wednesday.
The search began shortly after 8 a.m. and ended after about an hour, said Special Agent Sandra Berchtold, adding that no one was arrested. The search warrant is sealed from court documents, and she declined to divulge further information because it is an ongoing investigation.
However, sources close to the investigation said the search was related to a low-level clerk. The source told the Times-Herald that the clerk, a computer and some documents were removed from the offices, and that the clerk was taken in for questioning.
Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. confirmed that a woman was removed from the offices and said that she either had been placed on administrative leave or terminated.
“I’m not sure yet, but I think Dave (Norwood, Building and Safety Director) may have fired her Wednesday,” O’Reilly said.
The three departmental searches by federal investigators have been part of an effort to seek evidence relating to a bribery probe. In June 2008 another clerk, Inkster resident Leticia Bosemon, also was removed from the offices for questioning. To this point, she has not been charged with any crimes.
A subsequent search took place less than a week later, and since then there have been few developments made public in the case.
O’Reilly said the investigation continues to be a cooperative effort between the FBI and Dearborn police.
Council President Thomas Tafelski said he hopes the investigation will move more quickly going forward.
“We need to put an end to the corruption, the sooner the better,” he said.
“As soon as we can get the bad apples out – and I want to make clear there are a lot of very honest, hardworking people there – well, the sooner we can move on.”