The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted a joint raid at the Duval Teachers United building on Atlantic Boulevard in Jacksonville’s San Marco community.
Federal agents arrived Wednesday morning and continued their activities until late afternoon, seizing numerous boxes of business materials, computer equipment, and paperwork.
According to reports from The Florida Times-Union, a box of evidence clearly labeled “DTU Credit Card Statements” was among the materials collected.
The Florida Times-Union has learned that the investigation possibly involves misappropriation of funds. Regional FBI spokeswoman Amanda Videll confirmed that a “court-authorized search warrant” was executed but declined to release any further information, stating, “Because the investigation is ongoing, details about the search are not being released at this time.”
“I’m baffled by it, I was astonished,” said one anonymous DTU member. ″I was shocked because they usually represent us really well, we don’t know. We will find out.”
Despite the shock, the Duval Teachers United organization affirmed its commitment to its mission and cooperation with authorities in an official statement per News4JAX.
In a statement, DTU said, “We continue to be focused on upholding our mission of supporting our members and the students we serve. We are fully cooperating with authorities and anticipate a full and thorough assessment of the facts.”
The federal authorities have not revealed the nature of their investigation or who they accuse of criminal activity. As the investigation continues, the demand for transparency and accountability from the union grows, both from its members and the public at large.
Republican Rep. Dean Black called on the union to “come clean” in the aftermath of the raid. He urged that a complete accounting of union funds be made public, as well as details of the ongoing investigation, Florida Politics reported.
“Like all Duval County residents, I was horrified to see that the FBI raided the office of the Duval County Teachers Union. According to media reports, the FBI, in conjunction with the IRS, has an ongoing investigation involving alleged ‘misappropriation of union funds,’” said Black.
“What is even more troubling is the silence from union leadership since this raid. To restore the trust of taxpayers and dues paying teachers, the Duval County Teachers Union must immediately release a complete accounting for how all union funds are being spent, come clean about what specifically this investigation entails and make public all pertinent documents pertaining to the FBI and IRS investigation,” he added.
Governor Ron DeSantis stated he had “no insight” into the federal operation and emphasized that it was beyond the state’s control.