Feds seek Kettering city records amid corruption investigation

Federal prosecutors commanded the city of Kettering to turn over records pertaining to the city’s use of some U.S. Housing and Urban Development funds, according to a subpoena obtained Wednesday by the Dayton Daily News.

The Oct. 26, 2018, subpoena came a month before another one was sent to the city of Dayton seeking similar records, as well as the personnel file of former Dayton planning director Aaron Sorrell.

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The Dayton Daily News filed public records requests for federal subpoenas from area governments after federal prosecutors in April unsealed indictments of officials including a former Dayton city commissioner, former state lawmaker and a city of Dayton employee. Prosecutors alleged there is a “culture of corruption” in Dayton-area politics and more arrests are likely.

Both the Dayton and Kettering subpoenas seek “copies of documents pertaining to activities of the Dayton Kettering Consortium use of (U.S. Housing and Urban Development) funds.”

Kettering was not the focus of the investigation, according to Kettering city spokeswoman Stacy Schweikhart.

“The city cooperated fully with HUD and the FBI as both agencies evaluated our HOME fund records related to the consortium,” she said.

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The consortium is an agreement between Dayton and Kettering to jointly seek money through HUD’s HOME program, which provides grants for things such as building, buying and rehabilitating affordable housing, or providing rent assistance.

FBI officials on Wednesday would not confirm whether the Dayton Kettering Consortium investigation is related to the other cases or if other governments are involved.

Kettering city officials said they partner with Dayton because Kettering’s project amounts fall below the required threshold to apply for HOME funds. Kettering historically received about $150,000 in HOME funds annually, according to Schweikhart.

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But in 2018 HUD rejected the consortium’s request for funding after finding the city of Dayton spent more than $166,000 on “unallowable” costs and questioning how another $502,000 was spent.

“As a result, no HOME funds are available through the consortium,” Schweikhart said.

Dayton’s program was overseen by Sorrell, who resigned in 2017. He did not returned calls seeking comment.

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