Police, FBI serve search warrants at Muncie Sanitary District

Photo of Muncie Sanitation District

MUNCIE, Ind. – Investigators with Indiana State Police and the Muncie Police Department are serving a search warrant at the Muncie Sanitary District on Kilgore Avenue. The FBI is assisting with the investigation.

The nature of the investigation is unknown at this time, but we’re told it is not connected to the missing persons investigation out of Indy that we reported on yesterday.

However, police will not confirm whether or not it is connected to the arrest of Building Commissioner Craig Nichols earlier this year.

Nichols was arrested on February 15, 2017. He served as building commissioner since 2012,and he is accused of using two companies he owns to earn revenue from the city for projects that didn’t receive competitive bidding.

He billed the city nearly $800,000 for work that his company never did or performed at inflated prices, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He faces a count of theft of government funds and dozens of counts of wire fraud and money laundering.

Some of the work Nichols companies performed were under contracts with the sanitary district for wok on homes that were part of the levee project. FOX59 News reported last August, the sanitary district purchased homes for more than their values worth only to tear them down.

Nichols companies were involved in asbestos inspection for those properties, even though court records not, his companies were not licensed to do so.

Court records also show the sanitary district was required to seek at least 3 quoted from contractors for projects under $25,000 but it’s unlikely the sanitary district did that. The sanitary district did not comment on requests for a statement. Calls to the sanitary districts lawyer were not returned.

Investigators were seen taking computers from one of the sanitary districts buildings on Thursday morning.

The City of Muncie issued the following statement:

“The City of Muncie has fully cooperated and intends to continue to fully cooperate with the FBI investigation. The City of Muncie became aware of law enforcement activity being conducted at one of the Muncie Sanitary District’s locations today through media reports. The City of Muncie has not been made aware of the reasons for law enforcement activity at this time.”