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FBI raids Detroit Public Library main offices

A file image of the Detroit Public Library, whose main offices were raided by FBI agents Tuesday.
A file image of the Detroit Public Library, whose main offices were raided by FBI agents Tuesday.Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images, file

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET: A different sort of research took place at the Detroit Public Library on Tuesday, as FBI officials armed with search warrants entered the library's main offices and scoured through records, according to local news reports.

Nine FBI agents were at the library's main offices in Detroit on Tuesday morning, The Detroit News reported. They arrived at 8 a.m. and left around 11 a.m., with three cardboard boxes and "what appeared to be computer equipment," according to the newspaper.

"I don't know how many (search) warrants," library spokesperson A.J. Funchess told The Detroit News. "They aren't really sharing a lot of information right now."

While Funchess acknowledged the library raid, he declined to provide any further comment to NBC News.

The Detroit News reported that authorities spent much of their time in the offices of the library's chief administrative officer, Tim Cromer, who according to the newspaper has been the center of several spending controversies.

The FBI also reportedly raided Cromer's house Tuesday, a source told The Detroit News.

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A spokesperson for the FBI in Detroit, Simon Shaykhet, declined to comment.

The president of the Detroit Library Commission, Jonathan Kinloch, told Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV that the FBI’s action is justified. The commission is a seven-member group that governs Detroit's library system, and they are appointed by the Detroit Public Schools' Board of Education.

"Based on all of the concerns that have been raised over the past few months, you would expect that at this particular point there would be some outside review of the activities to see whether or not there's any wrongdoing," Kinloch told WDIV.

Detroit's library system has seen its share of woes. Last year, two of its 23 branches were closed and there was a 20 percent cut in staff, according to the Detroit Free Press. The system also faces a $10 million deficit, the Free Press added.

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