FBI agents executed a search warrant on the home of Tampa City Council member Lynn Hurtak and husband Timothy Burke on Monday, seizing computers, video equipment, and other devices.
Burke, a mainstay of the online sports world and a former video editor at Deadspin, has long been known for his array of video equipment and ability to post video clips on social media quickly. He was also recently featured in Netflix’s Manti T’eo documentary given his work in breaking that story.
The news was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
FBI searches #Florida city council member's home. Her husband, @bubbaprog, says the warrant had his name on it. They seized his devices. https://t.co/pkNLh1z3Jm via @JustinGarciaFL
— Craig Pittman (@craigtimes) May 9, 2023
Per the Tampa Bay Times, several agents were seen Monday afternoon moving items in and out of the property after having arrived at 6:00 a.m. ET. Agents did not tell the Times why they were searching the home or even which department they represented, but an FBI spokesperson later confirmed that a court-authorized search was being conducted at the home.
Burke spoke with the Times, saying that the agents arrived with a search warrant with his name on it and spent the day taking personal devices as well as devices that he uses for his business. A former editor with Gawker Media and The Daily Beast, Burke is currently the president of Burke Communications, which provides media training, social media consulting, and political strategy. The website for the company is currently down.
Burke told the Times he wasn’t certain why the agents came to his house and that it was a “terrible feeling” to wake up to several agents with flashlights out and guns drawn. He also said that the agents left the house a mess and damaged property.
In the 2022 Netflix documentary, The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist, Burke described some of his past work by saying “Before I started working for Deadspin, I traveled in some interesting online circles, including with Anonymous the notorious online hacker group and I developed a reputation as somebody who finds things.”
Hurtak was recently re-elected to serve on the Tampa City Council.
More details to follow as they become available.
[Tampa Bay Times] Image via E.W. Scripps School of Journalism