DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The U.S. District Attorney for North Texas formally recognized an FBI investigation involving Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price for the first time Wednesday.
James Jacks told CBS 11 News his office would be ready if a case involving the commissioner is presented.
“You want to make sure you do a thorough job,” he said, declining to go into specifics. “Obviously the FBI is looking at evidence, and if and when they reach a decision they’ll bring that information to our office.”
The FBI has subpoenaed information on Price’s real estate and automobile transactions, as well as records from his annual Kwaanzafest festival.
The wide-ranging probe was launched on June 27, which also includes two of Price’s associates – his assistant Daphney Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy –who also helped work on mayor Mike Rawlings’s campaign.
“Any kind of investigation like that, that has that many moving parts, requires organization and patience,” Jacks said.
Jacks also appeared before nearly 150 law officers Wednesday morning at a breakfast hosted by the North Texas Crime Commission.
At about the same time, as part of his Commissioner’s duties, Price was fronting a news conference about an upcoming back-to-school immunization clinic on Saturday.
He declined to comment on anything other than that event, saying he’s
Jacks did not mention the Price probe at the breakfast event, but said, “public corruption is our second highest priority” behind counter-terrorism concerns.
Investigations are opened when people come to Jacks’s office with complaints or, he says, sometimes they are prompted by stories seen in local media.
He also made a statement that seemed to answer complaints that the investigation of Price or any person is racially or politically motivated.
“It doesn’t matter black, brown, Asian, Armenian, it doesn’t matter. We are a reactive group,” Jacks said.
Decisions, he insists, are made on evidence, witnesses and the law. He also said there is a vital need to make sure the civil rights of anyone being investigated are maintained, no matter the issue.
“Obviously, obviously, and part of the reason we don’t comment is that this is just an investigation,” Jacks said.
Price is not accused of any crime and has repeatedly claimed he has done nothing wrong.