DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Two days after he pleaded not guilty to bribery and fraud charges, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was all smiles as he left church service on Sunday.
Price, a longtime member of the Friendship-West Baptist Church, declined to comment about his arrest after the service. But, inside of the church, Pastor Frederick Haynes passionately addressed the congregation about Price’s situation for nearly five minutes.
Haynes warned church members not to believe all that they hear from federal investigators and the media, and added that he is praying that this is not a “witch hunt.”
“The sad reality is this country has a track record. Study your history,” Haynes told his congregation. “Whatever persons have stood for justice that looks like us, we’ve been on the receiving end of injustice.”
On Friday, the FBI arrested Price and charged him with accepting more than $900,000 in bribes in return for political favors. The U.S. Attorney’s Office described the charges as a “shocking betray of public trust.”
In an interview with CBS 11 News after Sunday’s service, Haynes said that he spoke with Price at church. Price reportedly said that he was in good spirits and was ready to get back to work.
“I want to feel bad for him, but he won’t let me feel bad for him,” stated Haynes. “I was like, ‘Are you okay?’ He was like, ‘Are you okay?’ That’s the big brother that’s in him that keeps providing for us.”
Haynes told church members that, after years of Price supporting them, it was time to return the favor. Haynes said to his congregation, “It is very important, very important, that we don’t allow anyone, and I mean anyone, to rewrite history and tell us who he is. We know who Commissioner John Wiley Price is.”
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