FBI agents raid office at Muncie City Hall

Two agents left city hall carting off boxes filled with documents on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2017 (WTHR photo)
FBI Muncie Investigation 5pm
Muncie FBI Investigation 6pm

MUNCIE, Ind. (WTHR) - A year-long investigation at Muncie City Hall intensified Thursday as federal agents raided a city office.

Agents from the FBI's Public Corruption Unit arrived at the city's Building Commission office shortly after 9:00 a.m. They taped paper to the windows of the office to prevent reporters and camera crews from looking inside while they gathered records for more than three hours.

At 12:15 p.m., about a dozen federal investigators left the office with file boxes full of city records and a city computer. They packed the records into their vehicles and headed to Indianapolis to continue their investigation.

13 Investigates also saw agents in the city's IT office as part of their Thursday visit to Muncie City Hall, and sources tell 13 Investigates they also served a search warrant at the home of Muncie Building Commissioner Craig Nichols. The city is facing a lawsuit in federal court, accusing Nichols of getting preferential treatment on city demolition contracts that have been awarded to his own company instead of to other companies competing for the city's business.

City officials said they cannot comment on the FBI investigation, which has been underway for more than a year. But Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler released a statement Thursday morning stating that the city is cooperating fully with the federal probe.

Last spring, FBI agents served search warrants at several other Muncie city offices and began interviewing city employees. All records related to the case are sealed and, so far, not available for public inspection. The full extent and scope of the investigation is still unknown, but Thursday's raid suggests investigators are getting closer to their target.