By Doug Saunders, The Sun
and Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 04/22/15, 9:55 AM PDT |
BEAUMONT >> Federal and Riverside County authorities on Wednesday raided City Hall and three other locations across the Inland Empire in an investigation into the city’s long-standing business relationship with a local consulting firm, law enforcement and city officials said.
The FBI and investigators from the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office served the search warrants in conjunction with an investigation into the city’s business relationship with Beaumont-based Urban Logic Consultants, Inc., the city announced in a news release Wednesday.
“Urban Logic Consultants, a private company, has provided engineering, planning, and economic development services to the city of Beaumont for 20 years,” the city said in its statement. “The city is fully cooperating with the District Attorney’s investigation and will continue to update the public as information is made available by the D.A.’s Office.”
No one has been arrested.
Authorities seized hundreds of boxes of documents, more than a dozen computers and other electronic hardware and data during the raids, one of which was also conducted at the offices of Urban Logic Consultants at 871 W. 4th St. Warrants were also served at the Palm Desert home of Beaumont City Manager Alan Kapanicas and a Temecula residence located in the 27400 block of Enterprise Circle West.
According to documents filed with the Secretary of State, Urban Logic Consultants’ secretary Deepak Moorjani lists the same Temecula address as his own.
“I can confirm that warrants have been served as part of an ongoing investigation,” Riverside County DA spokesman John Hall said. “Because this is an ongoing investigation, I will have no further comment at this time.”
Hall stopped short of calling it a public corruption probe, even as investigators combed through files and closed City Hall.
Several failed attempts were made to reach Urban Logic Consultants Inc. for comment. Kapanicas also could not be reached.
A California state flag was pulled across a window blocking the view into the Beaumont city council conference room office where plain clothes agents were working.
A citizen watchdog group, long a critic of Urban Logic’s connection to the city, reacted swiftly to the raids.
“I was so relieved to hear of today’s actions,” said Judy Bingham, Beaumont Citizens for Responsible Growth. “I’m thrilled it’s over.”
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