The FBI raid last week in southwest suburban McCook targeted Mayor Jeff Tobolski, who also is a Democratic Cook County Board commissioner.
Documents obtained Thursday by WBEZ reveal that the agents who conducted the raid on Sept. 26 sought to search the “office space of Mayor Jeff Tobolski and any computer servers in the McCook Village Hall.”
But in their response to an open-records request from WBEZ, McCook officials blacked out much of the information in the documents from the raid.
In doing so, they mimicked the Illinois Senate -- which also heavily redacted copies of a search warrant the feds served at the Springfield and Cicero offices of powerful state Sen. Martin Sandoval on Sept. 24.
On Wednesday, WBEZ sued the state Senate for un-redacted copies of those records, alleging violations of the state’s Freedom of Information Act.
What was not deleted in the documents from McCook show that law-enforcement authorities left the village hall with three hard drives, including data from Tobolski’s “old computer” and from his desktop.
The search warrant also indicates that the FBI was looking for “items related to any official action taken in exchange for a benefit,” the records show.
And agents sought “items related to Latino Night at the Max, Chicago Cubs spring training trips, benefits provided by Law Firm 1 and/or Law Firm 1 Attorney A, Esq., and/or air conditioning and/or heating at [redacted] residence,” according to the documents provided by McCook officials. The Max is a sports complex in McCook.
Tobolski has not been charged and has yet commented on the raid. He skipped the county board meeting on the day of the law-enforcement action.
Authorities have not publicly described the nature of their investigation and have not said what relation the raid in McCook may have to other searches last week that they carried out at Sandoval’s offices, the village hall in Lyons and the offices of a politically connected asphalt and concrete company based in northwest suburban Bartlett.
But the search warrant served in McCook shows the feds were looking for evidence of a slew of potential crimes, including violations of the laws against “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” “frauds and swindles,” wire fraud, health care fraud and “interference with commerce by threats of violence.”
Officials in Lyons have not yet released any documents related to the raid at their village hall."
Dan Mihalopoulos is an investigative reporter at WBEZ.