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Moreno Valley officials say investigators subpoenaed records

October 23, 2013|By Rick Rojas

Federal investigators have subpoenaed the city government in Moreno Valley for a wide range of documents, the latest development in an investigation that comes months after the homes of elected officials were searched, city officials said.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the nature of the investigation, although it has been described by some law enforcement officials as a probe of political corruption allegations in the city just west of Riverside. 

On Tuesday, investigators requested a bounty of documents related to elected officials -- including the mayor, mayor pro tem and the three City Council members -- as well as those related to development projects and employment records for specific city workers, according to a detailed listing of the subpoenaed items in a memorandum sent by city manager Michelle Dawson to employees. 

The FBI, through a spokeswoman, declined to confirm or deny whether subpoenas were issued. 

Federal officials confirmed months ago that warrants had been issued to search the homes of a number of city officials, but did not disclose the reason for the investigation, noting that information in the case had been sealed. 

Laura Eimiller, the FBI spokeswoman, said investigators had sought "evidence of allegations of criminal activity." The searches were conducted by the FBI, IRS and Riverside County district attorney's office.

John Hall, a spokesman for Riverside County Dist. Atty. Paul Zellerbach, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The City Council was set to discuss in a Tuesday night meeting its policy related to how long the city must hold on to documents before destroying them, which raised concerns that the city might be trying to destroy documents that might be sought in the investigation.

The issue was removed from the agenda, and city officials have disputed that claim.

In the memo, Dawson said the matter was a "routine update" of the city's record retention policy, revisited by city officials every few years to "keep current with technological advances and to comply with state law."

"I don't know if the record retention update prompted today's influx of subpoenas," Dawson wrote in the Tuesday memo, "but as always the Clerk's Office and City staff will comply fully in providing copies of these items."

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Twitter: @rar

rick.rojas@latimes.com

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