Thu., 4:02pm: UPDATE2 BCI raids Trumbull engineer’s office

WARREN — State agents spent more than two hours this morning searching records in the offices of Trumbull County Engineer Randy Smith.

As many as a half dozen investigators from Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation were acting on a search warrant that has been returned but is sealed as of 3:30 p.m.

A spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said the search was part of an ongoing investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

A spokesman in the Engineer’s Office said payroll records and other documents dealing with oil and gas exploration were confiscated.

A source close to the investigation said the probe parallels a lawsuit filed last week against Smith by Kendell Lee Stauffer Jr., a union steward in the Engineer’s Office, who is seeking Smith’s removal from office for unlawful interest in a public contract.