As part of an apparent investigation that involved Independence city utility projects, the FBI reportedly had a wiretap placed in City Hall last month for an unspecified time.
Two council members independently told The Examiner they learned afterward of the wiretap, which reportedly was placed in a meeting room on the floor with city management and council offices.
Council Members Karen DeLuccie and Mike Huff both said they heard agents retrieved the wiretap right before Thanksgiving. In one case, a council member said they thought a wiretap might be nearby because of an unfamiliar wireless network that showed up on their smartphone.
The FBI has not confirmed or denied any such investigation.
DeLuccie and Council Member Scott Roberson both said in November the FBI had talked with them, mainly about about a July 2017 contract to demolish the old Missouri City power plant and the city's purchase of the former Rockwood Golf Club later that year for a solar farm.
Mayor Eileen Weir said she did not know of a wiretap – during or after the act – and said the FBI hasn't contacted her about any investigation. When she called investigators to ask if the two parties needed to talk as part of an investigation, they told her no, she said.
Weir has also denied any connection between her decisions on those projects in 2017 and any contributions her campaign received around that time.
Huff, who was not a member of the council when either decision took place in 2017, said the FBI knew that when they talked with him, and their discussion centered around the aforementioned projects and individuals outside the city.
“They didn't ask me about any City Council people, per se,” Huff said.
DeLuccie and Roberson both voted against the $9.765 million Missouri City contract awarded to Environmental Operations Inc., which has been demolishing the plant along the Missouri River. EOI's bid was more than twice the bid of $4.25 million from the other finalist, though well below an engineer's prior estimate for such a project.
The city bought the former Rockwood land for $985,000, after months of negotiations and approval from a council majority in a closed session. MC Power, which the city had selected a couple years earlier to construct the city's initial solar farm, paid a half-million dollars up front to lease about half the Rockwood land to put up solar panels.