FBI Raids Buttigieg-Appointed Officials in South Bend
This is not a good sign for the Buttigieg campaign.
The day after South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was on stage for the Democratic primary debate in Detroit, the FBI raided the South Bend Housing Authority on Wednesday in a law enforcement action that could raise plenty of questions about Buttigieg and his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Federal and local authorities aren’t talking about what led to the action, but residents told local news outlets it didn’t come as a shock: That favoritism is common at the authority and that it’s poorly managed.
Check out the WSBT report here:
Police and FBI are moving in and out of the South Bend Housing Authority offices. @KConninTV is trying to find out more. pic.twitter.com/bvuJL7UdrT
— WSBT (@WSBT) July 31, 2019
In response to the raid, according to The South Bend Tribune, Buttigieg released a statement through his spokesman that attempted to distance the mayor from the authority’s operation.
“Earlier today the Mayor’s Office became aware through local media reports of today’s law enforcement action at the Housing Authority. While the Housing Authority is not part of the City administration, the Mayor is concerned and will be closely following the situation.
“The Mayor is in touch with the Board of Commissioners and has asked that they keep him informed on what they learn from federal officials. In the meantime, he has offered the City’s assistance to help ensure residents are not negatively impacted by this situation. He has been advised that normal operations will continue.”
@PeteButtigieg released this statement shortly before 6:00 this evening: pic.twitter.com/1tCpw3muUX
— Katlin Connin (@KConninTV) July 31, 2019
One problem with Buttigieg’s statement, though, is that while it states the housing authority is “not part of the city administration,” it doesn’t acknowledge that the South Bend mayor appoints the housing authority’s board.
In fact, according to the Tribune, Buttigieg replaced the authority’s entire board in 2015 after years of mismanagement.
To be fair, Buttigieg himself has clashed with the current board.
As the Tribune reported:
“In fall 2018, Buttigieg appeared at a meeting of the agency’s board and criticized the housing authority for financial problems, unaddressed safety issues and poor communication. Some board members said they were disappointed the mayor did not speak with them about his concerns before raising the issues publicly.”
However, the mayor of a mid-sized city trying to leap-frog into the presidency isn’t getting any help from video and headlines that show the FBI raiding the offices of an authority he’s responsible for appointing.
The South Bend Housing Authority offices were abruptly closed Wednesday, as FBI agents appeared and went through the office for unknown reasons. https://t.co/3sdegxqEjm
— Christian Sheckler (@jcsheckler) July 31, 2019
Buttigieg has already taken a black eye over his handling of a police shooting in South Bend in June that has led to withering criticism from city cops.
Another brush with law enforcement – this time from the FBI – wouldn’t be a good sign for any mayor, but especially not one running for president.
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