Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish issues statement on office search

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish issued a video statement Friday, one day after authorities searched his offices on the eighth floor of the county building.

Budish called the searches "just wrong" in a video posted to the Cuyahoga County YouTube page.

"It's frankly a political stunt," he added.

A county spokesperson on Thursday told reporters five boxes of files, two hard drives (one belonging to Budish) and an envelope of "miscellaneous materials" were taken from the scene. She added at least nine agents from the FBI (including the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation) were involved in the search.

On Wednesday, a grand jury subpoena was served to the county seeking "the complete email accounts belonging to Budish and several of his top executives, as well as the phone records of former Corrections Director Ken Mills. Earlier this month, Mills was one of three Cuyahoga County officialsto plead not guilty to chargesthey faced as part of an ongoing corruption investigation.

"This latest development is without justification. It's taken this to a whole new level," Budish said in the video. "I can only say this just looks like a political move."

Budish again denied any wrongdoing, echoing a statement he issued Thursday.

"I'm not going to take this lying down," he said. "I will stand up for the integrity of my administration, for my employees who are working hard every day for the people of this county and for you, the residents of Cuyahoga County."

A year ago, public corruption investigators subpoenaed records regarding high-level county employees and Hyland Software, a county contractor based in Westlake. At that time, Budish denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of any corruption.

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