A Deeper Look Into FBI Raid of Philly Sheriff's Office

One day after the FBI raided the Philadelphia Sheriff's Department, the Philadelphia Business Journal is digging deeper into finding out why agents conducted the raid at 100 South Broad Street.

Jeffrey Lindy, a former federal prosecutor told the Business Journal that a search warrant like this one was the product of a grand jury investigation and had to be approved by the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, Zane Memeger, or quite possibly needed the authorization of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington.

“This is a serious investigative tool,” Lindy told the Journal. “You don’t conduct a raid like this on a city office unless you are convinced there is some illegality occurring there.”

Agents arrived at the Sheriff's office yesterday with a search warrant and subpoena for court records and files, according to spokesman Joseph Blake. "The agents were given the full cooperation of the Sheriff's Office of Philadelphia city and county."

The FBI confiscated computers and files, as part of their search for information on real estate transactions from Sheriff sales that were conducted.

Blake says this investigation is something that started under the old administration and does not involve the current administration, run by Sheriff Jewell Williams.

Former Sheriff John Green resigned in 2011, amid allegations that he was running an office of insider dealing.

In April, Mayor Michael Nutter's office filed a lawsuit in April against Green, 5 companies and 8 other people, according to the Business Journal. The lawsuit alleges they diverted millions of dollars from Sheriff's sales.

But questions remain over how much has changed during the new administration. AxisPhilly.org reported in May that the Sheriff’s Office under Williams has, by his own admission, “no accounting system."

Williams was sworn into office in January 2012. Before being elected Sheriff, he served as a State Representative of the 197th Legislative District for 11 years.

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