Dallas County Commissioner Price Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Charges
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price has been arrested and is in federal custody in relation to a corruption investigation that began in 2011.
Sources tell CBS 11 that federal agents were waiting for Price this morning at the commissioner’s office at 7 a.m.
A copy of the indictment shows that Price has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, deprivation of honest services, subscribing to a false and fraudulent tax return, and conspiracy to defraud the IRS.
Price appeared in a federal courtroom on Friday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His assistant Dapheny Fain, his political consultant Kathy Nealy, and Christian Lloyd Campbell have also been indicted on federal charges. They also appeared before a federal judge and pleaded not guilty.
According to the indictment, from 2001 to 2011, Price, Nealy, and Campbell “did knowingly combine, conspire, confederate and agree together and with each other to give and receive corrupt payments” in violation of federal law.
As part of the agreement, Price would receive benefits from his co-conspirators in exchange for favors in connection with Dallas County business transactions.
In all, Price received benefits in the form of money, cars and land totaling approximately $950,000 from Nealy.
See the itemized benefits here
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In return, Price protected clients of Nealy and Campbell and leaked confidential information surrounding the city’s projects and competing bids. This gave Nealy’s clients a “strategic advantage” on Dallas County projects.
Price also stands accused of advocating and voting in favor of Nealy’s and Campbell’s clients in committee meetings and Commissioners Court sessions.
Nealy took measures to conceal bribe payments to Price, writing checks from 9 different business, personal, and investment accounts.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking the return of all related proceeds traceable to the offenses.
Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway issued a statement following Price’s arrest on Friday.
“This morning I learned of the arrest of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price through media reports. We should all allow the legal process to run its course before rushing to judgment. My thoughts and prayers are with Commissioner Price today and in the days ahead.”
In June of 2011, the FBI raided Commissioner Price’s house, cars, and office in what court documents described as a bribery, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud investigation. Investigators seized more than $200,000 they found in a safe in Price’s Oak Cliff home.
Price has denied any wrong-doing.
In office for almost 30 years, Price is Dallas County’s longest-serving commissioner.
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