He was placed in handcuffs and detained after federal agents barged into his home to execute a search warrant.
Just recently, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents detained Rich Kerr, the mayor of Adelanto, California, after busting into his home to execute a search warrant. Although the federal agents, who also searched Adelanto City Hall, have yet to reveal the nature of their investigation due to the fact that the warrants are under seal, it appears to be linked to their city-wide probe looking into corruption, which has now turned its focus to the mayor.
According to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles, the agencies involved in the searches included “the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation division, and the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office.” Unfortunately, though, much like the federal agents, Mrozek refused to comment about the nature of the investigation.
Despite the fact that Kerr was detained and removed from his home in handcuffs during the search, an FBI spokesperson made it clear while speaking to reporters that they had not actually arrested or charged him.
Also, when asked about Kerr’s detention, city spokesman Michael Stevens claimed that the city was also reportedly “unaware of the nature of the FBI investigation.” Stevens then went on to add that even though they don’t know all of the details, they’re still “prepared to cooperate with any investigation being conducted.”
Kerr’s recent detention came shortly after Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright was arrested and charged with “bribery of programs receiving federal funds and attempted arson of a building affecting interstate commerce” after he was caught “accepting bribes and asking an undercover FBI agent to burn down his restaurant so he could collect insurance payouts.”
Since Wright’s arrest, federal officials have continued to investigate Adelanto city officials for any more possible corruption. Given the timing and Wright’s connection to the mayor, it’s very likely that the recent search warrants are related to the federal government’s corruption probe.
Disturbingly, Wright isn’t the only politician recently busted for corrupt. A couple of months ago, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was found guilty of 47 criminal charges of “conspiracy…bribery, attempted extortion, false statements to federal officials, honest services fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.” He also reportedly changed city contracts “in order to raise money for his campaigns for Mayor.”
As a consequence, Pawlowski, who is free on bail, now faces 20 years in prison for each count of corruption.
And just before that, detectives with the New York Police Department arrested Juliet Germanotta, a 36-year-old transgender democrat campaigning against Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and charged her with “third-degree grand larceny” for stealing an “18-karat yellow gold Zambian emerald and diamond ring” worth $4,800 from Mikaelians Jewelry in New York City.
Several weeks prior to Germanotta’s arrest, a democratic mayor in Florida was also busted for corruption.
Specifically, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed an executive order earlier this month officially suspending Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (D). He did so shortly after the FBI charged her with felony “campaign finance violations, official misconduct, and money laundering“ for using bribe money that she laundered to illegally fund her re-election campaign.
According to reports, the FBI investigation into Cooper first began back in May 2012 when two undercover agents acting as wealthy landowners created a fake real estate company.
After doing so, they then hired Alan Koslow, a South Florida attorney and lobbyist, to reach out to Cooper and set up a meeting to negotiate a development deal in her area.
Despite the incident occurring in 2012, it took more than five years for Cooper to finally be arrested. Shortly after the election, the agents revealed their identities to Koslow and turned him into an undercover assistant to help them investigate other politicians and lobbyists in exchange for a plea deal.
After their investigation was complete, they then sentenced Koslow to a year in prison. Once out, Koslow then agreed to give “a critical statement in the investigation into Cooper’s alleged misconduct.” Upon receiving his statement, the FBI then went out and arrested the corrupt mayor.
Corruption of any kind must not be tolerated. Because of this, anyone who is caught must be punished as harshly as possible. Hopefully, this is exactly what happens with the politicians in Adelanto.