The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Muncie, Indiana’s town hall as part of their ongoing investigation into multiple allegations of public corruption. Muncie, known for being the subject of a sociological study published in 1929, called Middletown: A Study in Modern American Culture, has previously been under scrutiny for numerous shady dealings.
Mayor Dennis Tyler released a statement on the FBI raid:
The town’s Police Chief Steve Stewart, a 31-year veteran of the police force, resigned late last year citing “actions” by Mayor Dennis Tyler and other officials. His official resignation stated: “Actions by you and others prove to me that I can no longer be part of your administration. Therefore, effective immediately I am resigning as chief of police.”
The first instance of corruption under investigation involves a local business owner, who sold a flea market to Jeff Burke, a local businessman for $150,000. Less than a month later, Burke re-sold the property to the Muncie Sanitary District, which plans on demolishing the building, for $395,000. The original owner of the property filed a tort claim notice alleging that local officials used inside information to cheat him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The second instance of alleged corruption involves the county’s building commissioner awarding demolitions projects to his private contracting firms. Some of the jobs awarded to the firms do not appear to exist. The city is being sued contractors shut out of the bidding process by the building commissioner.
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