DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins appeared publicly Friday for the first time in weeks.

Earlier this month, a Dallas County Judge held Watkins in contempt after he refused to testify about the mortgage fraud case his office filed against oil heir Albert Hill III.

The judge dropped the charges against Hill.

His attorneys accuse the district attorney of prosecutorial misconduct, saying he prosecuted Hill as favor for a campaign donor involved in a legal dispute with Hill.

Watkins’ office though says it was Hill’s own father who came forward and presented prosecutors the mortgage fraud case.

Today, Watkins rejected the accusations against him.  “Obviously, we are of a position that everything else you have been reporting on is smoke and mirrors. It has no merit, so that will be played out in court at some point.”

Hill’s attorneys say the FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating Watkins.

But the district attorney’s office says Watkins hasn’t been told he’s a target.

Since Watkins was held in contempt, a special judge and prosecutor have been appointed to consider the case.

Watkins wants the charge dismissed.

He was asked why he decided to speak with reporters Friday.  “As a District Attorney, I have a job to do, and I just can’t stop doing that job just because of a defense attorney says that something was nefariously done by the office.”

Watkins made the comments after he appeared in court in an unrelated case.

He asked a judge for a temporary stay of execution for a woman sentenced to death for killing her neighbor.
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