Reporting Jack Fink
DALLAS (CBS 11) - As part of its ongoing investigation into Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, the FBI requested sealed court documents involving the DA’s now dismissed mortgage fraud case against oil heir Albert Hill III.
On Monday, Dallas County Judge Lena Levario ordered the district clerk to give the FBI total access to those sealed records.
Today, Watkins’ top assistants praised the move.
Russell Wilson, the chief of the public integrity unit said, “We think this is a turning point in this case for what the attention should be on.”
And Wilson says that attention should be on Hill, whose attorneys declined comment on the judge’s order.
Those attorneys have claimed Watkins prosecuted their client as a favor to one of his top campaign donors and supporters — who was in a dispute with Hill over millions of dollars in legal fees in another case.
The district attorney’s office strongly denies that, saying Hill’s own father gave them their evidence.
First Assistant Dallas County District Attorney Heath Harris said, “We’re happy the FBI is looking at the grand jury information because the grand jury is going to clearly support that at the time this case was brought to our office, we moved on it.”
Since then, Judge Levario dimissed the case against Hill.
That after Watkins refused to testify about the case.
He was even held in contempt of court for refusing, but said testifying would violate his privilege as a District Attorney.
Watkins’ assistants believe the District Attorney is being targeted.
Wilson said, “There is no defense to the true allegations so the only way that he can try to be successful is to try to attack Mr. Watkins personally.”
Harris said, “The ultimate issue is, is he guilty of mortgage fraud?”
Again, the case against Al Hill III was previously dismissed, which pleased him and his attorneys.
The District Attorney’s office is appealing that decision.
A special prosecutor and judge are looking into the contempt order against Watkins.
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