Frank Gilliam Atlantic City: FBI agents searched the home Mayor.
FBI agents searched the home of Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam Jr., for nearly five hours Monday morning, according to Special Agent Jessica Weisman.
Weisman confirmed that the FBI was at the home “in an official capacity to execute a search warrant.”
Agents arrived at the home around 7:45 a.m. Monday and left around noon. Approximately 30 minutes after investigators left, Gilliam left his home and didn’t not comment on the raid.
During the raid, agents walked into the tan two-story home on Ohio Avenue and walked out with black boxes in tow, loading them into a Dodge Grand Caravan parked in the street. In addition to boxes, they carried out a computer and a printer from the home.
Agents also searched Gilliam’s Mercedes-Benz SUV that was parked in the driveway.
The Internal Revenue Service was also at the home.
Gilliam, 47, could not be reached for comment. Christina Bevilaqua, Gilliam’s deputy chief of staff, said the office had no comment. Bevilaqua said she did not know who Gilliam’s attorney was.
City Hall is open and the mayor’s staff is continuing to handle official business, she said.
The state Department of Community Affairs, who oversees the city’s finances, said they are monitoring the situation.
“We cannot comment on an ongoing investigation,” said Lisa Ryan, spokeswoman for the Community Affairs Department. “We remain focused on the people of Atlantic City and ensuring that their needs are met.”
Council President Marty Small Sr., who challenged Gilliam in the 2017 Democratic primary, declined to comment.
Outside City Hall, Councilman Kaleem Shabazz declined to comment “expect to say we’re going to keep working to move Atlantic City forward.”
Neighbors were clustered on street corners discussing the raid and its possible implications, as press gathered across the street. A small group of supports huddled in prayer, some crying.
Gwen Calloway Lewis of Penrose Avenue said it was “shocking” to see the FBI in the neighborhood.
“That mean it’s serious,” she said.
She thinks its “appalling” that the mayor has brought a federal investigation into the neighborhood.
“I wasn’t surprised because I know his character,” Calloway Lewis said.
An Atlantic City police officer parked in front of the house stood guard and kept bystanders back while agents carried out the raid.
After investigators left the house, five marked city police cars were parked outside the house.
Since taking office Gilliam’s tenure as mayor has been fraught with controversy. In April, a Superior Court judge dismissed a criminal complaint filed by the Atlantic City Democratic Committee against Mayor Frank Gilliam surrounding the alleged theft of a $10,000 check.