Dallas Mayor’s Campaign Contracted Companies Under FBI Probe

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two days after winning a hotly contested race to become Dallas mayor, Mike Rawlings’s campaign wrote large checks to two companies that are now under FBI and IRS scrutiny, CBS 11 News has learned.

Rawlings is not implicated in the probe. But he acknowledges that his campaign’s connections to the companies, and the people who run them, may send the wrong message.

“Any time there’s a smudge on it like this it’s difficult,” he said. “But I can’t worry about that, I’ve got to focus on what the city needs.”

His latest campaign financial reports, obtained by CBS 11 News, show that the Rawlings’ camp paid $15,000 in consulting fees to Kathy Nealey and Associates, one of the individuals involved in the FBI probe related to Dallas County Comissioner John Wiley Price.

On the same day, June 20, the campaign paid $9,200 to the MMS company for printing and distributing campaign literature on voters’ door knobs.

“I think that’s a fair amount,” Rawlings said of the fees paid to Nealey and MMS.

Exactly a week later, the FBI executed search warrants on Nealey, a close political ally of Commissioner John Wiley Price, and on Dapheny Fain, owner of MMS, located in a DeSoto shopping center.

Fain is also on the Dallas County payroll as the top assistant to Price. Federal agents searched all their homes and offices as part of their corruption probe.

According to the mayor, “It’s sad we’ve had to deal with this issue.”

The financial reports obtained by CBS 11 News also show that Rawlings’s campaign paid a total of $20,000 in the week leading up to the June 18t runoff election for what was described as phone banks and walk programs.

In all, the new mayor’s campaign paid Nealy’s business more than $300,000 in the general and runoff elections.

“But that’s a lot of money to spend, that’s a lot of money to spend in any race, but certainly in a runoff,” said veteran political consultant John Weekley.

He says while the numbers are large, they’re not suspiciously out of line. He’s more concerned that campaign money went to Fain’s business, since she’s a county worker.

“It doesn’t necessarily pass the ‘sniff’ test when you look at that kind of money paid to a county employee,” he said.

Weekley says the relationship may be strictly legal but it appears too cozy.

Late Wednesday a spokesperson for Rawlings said until recently Rawlings was unaware that MMS’s owner was associated with John Wiley Price.

Rawlings adds the money his campaign paid went to Nealey’s business, not to her personally. No one is accused of any wrongdoing.

  • darrell

    there seems to be a short list of people who have their hands in a whole bunch of cookie jars. including each others, but especially the taxpayers. there is no way that this cant be considered “organized”. very likely its criminal or at least some of it. yet even the best case scenerio its unethical and inappropriate and grounds for removal from office.

  • NiteNurse

    Why can’t Dallas government be without all the drama??? I mean just look next door Fort Worth rarely has a problem with their city government.

  • http://dallasforme.com/2011/08/dallas-mayors-campaign-contracted-companies-under-fbi-probe-2/ Dallas Mayor?s Campaign Contracted Companies Under FBI Probe — Me and the Chicks

    […] large checks to two companies that are now under FBI and IRS scrutiny, CBS 11 News has learned. More from: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/0… PreviousPost […]

  • darrell

    the problems in dallas started in the early 1980’s. when detroit auto makers layed off thousands of workers and there were no jobs. on any given day, at any time at any redlight intersection you could find 6 to 10 or more cars with michigan plates. by the late 80’s gangs, drugs, crime skyrocketed. dallas had the cowboys and a tv show, fort worth was cowtown, no person from michigan was gonna get caught there.
    when they came here, they brought all of their nasty ways with them and now those people are running everything in dallas.

    thats how dallas got the way it is. ive spent my entire life here and used to live in dallas. ive watched it happen.

    • NiteNurse

      They should have elected David Kunkle. He’s pretty low key and I’m sure there are no smudges in his past.

  • Sick of "Sectors"

    “Any time there’s a smudge on it like this it’s difficult,” [Rawlings] said. “But I can’t worry about that, I’ve got to focus on what the city needs.” [“…And hope like hell that nobody remembers my connections to this scandal, when it comes time for me to start buying influence during my next election!”]

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