Mayor Brown speaks on FBI raid at Grassroots

Mayor Brown Speaks On FBI Raid Of A Political Club

BUFFALO, N.Y. - When the FBI raided Grassroots, a local political organization in Buffalo, the Urban Chamber of Commerce and its founder's home, it led to many questions.

Grassroots played a major role in helping elect some of this area's most powerful African-American leaders, including City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

Brown said he was shocked by the FBI raid and considers Grassroots "near and dear."  He considers Maurice Garner, one of the founders of the organization "a close friend" but the two men haven't spoken in a few days, he said.

The Mayor said "no one in any official capacity has spoken to him about what's going on."

When 2 On Your Side asked if the federal raid is a a reflection on the organization or an individual, Mayor Brown said: "I don't know exactly what it is at this point. There are some that think it might be a reflection on an individual, but I just don't know anything at this point."

People close to the investigation say this latest raid may be linked to the prosecution of a political operative; Steve Pigeon, who is in the middle of cases dealing with bribery and campaign donations.

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen said on his radio show on WUFO, "the purpose of having an FBI or an AG's office, is if somebody's dirty, it needs to be brought out, but the people who are clean, it will help them too."

"There's a difference between making a mistake and collusion," said Pridgen. He said he is not aware of the  particulars of this case.

No one from the FBI office in Buffalo or the U.S. Attorney's office would comment.

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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