FBI investigating Rio NuevoPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The drama over Rio Nuevo continues. Just days after documents were seized by the Attorney General's office, city leaders and Rio Nuevo board members respond to news the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now involved.
It wasn't just the Attorney General's office that pulled up to the Tucson Convention Center last Friday, FBI officials were also there. They too made their way to a room in the TCC to sift through over 10 years of Rio Nuevo documents.
"Banker boxes, file cabinets as well as computer towers and those types of things were confiscated and taken into custody," said Rio Nuevo board member Jodie Bain.
The room is now barren, file cabinets are empty.
"Ultimately this could be a huge step in the positive direction because it's going to offer the conclusion or culmination of a history that has been ripe with questions," said Bain.
The AG's office will not confirm or deny an investigation is underway, but since January, Tom Horne has repeatedly expressed his interest in finding out where $230 million of taxpayer's money went.
It was his office who decided to bring the FBI onboard. The FBI won't comment on what it's looking into and council members can only speculate whether it means crimes were committed.
"He must have seen something that gave him probable cause to think criminal activity had taken place," said Councilman Steve Kozachik.
Tuesday council members met for the first time since news broke of the FBI's involvement. They passed a motion welcoming any investigation.
"The mayor and council invite any inspection of their offices or finances or any information the Attorney General may seek," said Councilwoman Regina Romero.
One by one council members urged the state to move quickly to uncover the truth.
"If there's going to be an investigation, let's get on with it," said Mayor Bob Walkup.
But mayor and council also want to make sure a Rio Nuevo investigation doesn't become political fodder in an election year.
"Let's not play political games, let us talk about the truth and let's talk about the facts," said Councilwoman Shirley Scott.
"The public is sick of this. The taxpayers deserve better," said Councilman Kozachik.
The taxpayers deserve an answer, and that answer may soon be found in confiscated Rio Nuevo records.