So John Wiley Price Really Wanted Some Land...

...and with a little help from his charm, a crooked friend or two, some weird paperwork and his administrative assistant, he finally got it.

Federal agents of both the IRS and FBI persuasion have fanned out across our fair county and state, maybe even traveling to exotic shores, trying to tease truth out of the densely woven fabric of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price's financial affairs.

Lots of luck.

As of last week, Price, the county's most powerful black officeholder, is the unindicted target of a massive corruption probe. His own lawyers have hired forensic accountants to comb through his finances, an effort to keep up with the feds. Lots of luck to them, too.

I spent last week combing myself, focusing on one little corner of the empire amassed by the 61-year-old Price in his almost three decades in office. Just thinking about trying to sort all this out makes me want to go fishing. Forever. Maybe I was imagining it, but I swear I heard some of the same sentiment in the voice of Price's own lawyer, Billy Ravkind.

"I know what the explanations are," Ravkind told me last week. "I am waiting to see what the records say."

My little corner involved a plot of land out by Mountain Creek Lake. As far as I can tell, one little transfer of ownership involved an almost 10-year process of multiple deed-filings, money borrowings, mystery documents, missing documents, renunciations of interest and accusations of undue pressure and trickery against Price, not to mention the involvement of two of the more flamboyant con men in Dallas history (not including the commissioner). Other than that, it's just a straight-up land deal.

It goes like this: According to the Dallas Central Appraisal District, Commissioner Price bought nine acres of land on Grady Niblo Road in 1999 from an antiques dealer named Wayne White. But that's not what the records at the county clerk's office show.

According to those records, Price didn't buy the land from White until three years later, in 2002. On September 10 of that year, the records show, Price received a warranty deed from White—a deed in which White swore he owned the land free and clear and was transferring ownership of it to Price, in exchange for $150,000.

With me so far? Well, you won't be for long. There are more records. On the same day the warranty deed was filed with the clerk—at the same minute, in fact—a "quit claim" deed was also filed. In this one, Price's own administrative assistant at the county, Dapheny Fain, conveyed to Price her "right, title and interest in and to the property" for the same exact parcel of land.

White says Fain had no right, title or interest in the land. The property was never hers, he says, nor did she have any right to it. Records back that up. Nothing in the county clerk's records shows that anybody ever gave or sold or conveyed any interest in this property to Fain. But there she was, conveying her interest to her boss.

OK, time for law school. A quit claim deed does not contain a "covenant of title," meaning it doesn't say you have an actual interest to sell or give away. When you sign it, you're not swearing that you own the property. If you sign the other kind of deed, a warranty deed, yeah: That means you swear it's yours to give. But if you sign a quit claim, it just says you won't ever claim you have any interest in the future.

So, wait. She signed away a non-existent interest? Maybe. I'm not sure. I could not reach Price or Fain. I did speak with their lawyers, both of whom said they had no idea what it was all about.

And Mr. White? I'm not sure about him, either. His story has a lot of peaks and valleys, frankly. He says he bought the land from an old guy he liked to play dominoes with, who also happened to be the landlord to his antique dealership out on U.S. Highway 80 in Forney. That landlord happened to be Danny Faulkner, one of the more notorious bank swindlers and real estate scammers in Dallas history.

Indeed, county records show that Faulkner sold White the land shortly after Faulkner got out of the pen for bank fraud. Then, by coincidence, another fella started stopping by the antique dealership to play dominoes with White—that old domino nut, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price! The commissioner, White says, kept pleading with him: You've gotta sell me that land.

There's another person with a role to play in this saga: White's ex-wife. I can't find her, but records seem to indicate that she did have an interest in the property, even though White signed documents on file with the county saying that she didn't.

You know, the deeper I get into this story, the more I think it should be a Ken Burns PBS documentary. I think of Faulkner and White and Price all out there on Highway 80 at White's antique store playing dominoes, and Dapheny Fain and White's ex-wife just kind of floating around somewhere in the distance, and I hear that sad violin theme music Ken Burns always has. I love that music.

1
 
2
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
70 comments
Aithlyn
Aithlyn

The truth is no matter what color a political figure is everyone is out to find the truth. Even at the expense of their lively hood. Race is the issue because people make it one. I have walked the road on both sides and have experienced complete humility. Until all races are kind and considered equal in each others eyes we we will be divided. The people deserve the truth from all politicians. Even those not under scrutiny should be. Taxes everywhere, low pay, bills high, Social Security introuble. If Price did do what his accusers claim he did...so be his fate. If not than he will be owed an apology. That is how our justice system is implemented for all; sadly. I am ready for a brighter future. All I can say is come together... Maybe if the elders and us could get together we would be heard on all hardships... WE as the AMERICAN people are enduring. Hopefully, one day before I die I will witness the miracle of equalism in all people eyes.

power point
power point

Wiley Fisher-Price is one niggard dastard that should be in prison until he is a toothless, bald, scrawny invalid that can't even be a commissioner of a toothpick much less a city.

John Smith
John Smith

John Wiley is a total sleazebag who has sucked off the public teat his whole life. Amazing how a public servant can amass such a collection of cars....clothes....and the house? Beautiful. He has somehow amassed enough wealth to afford him the lifestyle of a successful private businessman rather then the political hack that he is. It always amazes me how gullible the black religious establishment is here in Dallas. They always manage, come high or hell water, to support every crooked black politician which there are a lot of.

Cajohnson38
Cajohnson38

Let the man have his day in court. From the article Mr White has some explaining to do. But everyone should have the opportunity to tell their story!

Jgermuiller
Jgermuiller

This is the most racist individual I have ever heart of.

Tom
Tom

Mr. Price has been strangely silent since the search warrants were executed. Not his usual mode of operation. Perhaps he remembers his good buddy Don Hill, whose search warrants were served literally years before the prosecution, and whose prosecution took several more years, only to end up sitting for years and years and years and years in a prison cell, everything taken away. Mr. Price must be thinking, "Gee, look at MY future!" And then he vomits.

Cee-low
Cee-low

This is what I can't get my head wrapped around - all you people that are supporting Price must be morons. You are the same folks that supported OJ and the recent batch of criminals that were found guilty....hmmmmm, does anyone see a pattern here ? Just saying........

Me
Me

So funny how "other people" are so thirsty for this man's blood, even though he hasn't been charged or arrested with anything...just goes to show that times haven't changed at all. Instead of white robes and pointy hoods, they're wearing badges and holding gavels.

Peggys1974
Peggys1974

Humm at least this got him to shut his pie hole for a few days. How refreshing.

snowman501
snowman501

Lets see, we are innocent until proven guilty. Mr.Price may have or may not have done something wrong. So lets not judge until there is an indictment, trial and a conviction, if there ever is any of these. I am not a supporter of, nor do I care for Mr.Price, however he at the moment has not been charged with anything. Lets not start singing and dancing just yet.

cdeaster
cdeaster

If Fain backed the loan that maybe why he had her sign the "quit claim". If they were to disassociate he didn't want her to try and take the land or have any rights to it.

Elaineford03
Elaineford03

I'm so tried of hearing this stuff i dont know what to do ! Land ,painting i question the fact that if this man (price) was white would we really care NO and we have stop looking at the big pictuire WHY is all this stuff important to dallas country is it going lower my tax's are put some $$$ back into my school that govenor perry truned down goverment HELP me understand why must we hear about it every day

Stillamastatit
Stillamastatit

Did he receive the antique shop and the inventory? Were the antiques sold for abnormally high values in cash? Were the sell values all under $10,000? You give someone a piece of junk for a certain amount but what they actual receive has absolutely nothing to do with the item. It looks like business on antiques but actual end up being payments for greased palms.

William
William

Imo, kind of weak for Schutze...relies way too much on innuendo...no info offered which has Price having anything to do with Faulkner...gee whiz maybe Fain and Price had an understanding between them...any simpleton knows that a quitclaim deed is a simple way to resolve possible claims to the land in question...having read and appreciated Schutze's stuff for years, this piece may be the weakest as to content...all hat, no cattle

s.e.e
s.e.e

So frigging what? This kind of thing is prevelant in politics. If you want to solve the probleminvestigate all politicians and big time business men. You will find these kinds of deals arecommonplace. Get over it.I just sayin !

Francinemanning
Francinemanning

Reading this article help me understand how my mother home was stolen from me. "quit claim" Dapheny Fain and John W Price put all that together you get Felica Walker. I knew that you cannot just walk off of the street in quit claim any property unless you know someone who can put the paper work thru, when you are just a grandchild of many. I just wonder how many more people have lost their love one home at the county thru quit claim. We all have to answer to Our Lord for what we do, that is how I went on with my life after that heart broken experience.

Angeliaturner1970
Angeliaturner1970

so people here in dallas are still homeless and still going hungry...And John Wiley Price bought dirt and grass that only the creator owns. And we care because.......

pepe
pepe

it took to long to investigate this guy he looks bad rigth away when you see him .

samplerayt
samplerayt

Violin? Maybe the music only contains kettle drums. Well, only one kettle drum. Beaten very hard and steady. Very monotonous. Steady pounding represents most of Dallas citizenry, tired of all the shenanigans from this 'politician.' Beats ever harder for those folks caught up in the traffic snarls created by this 'politician', at Northwest Highway around Audelia, and in front of the Dallas Morning News, beating ever faster and harder by the woman going into WFAA to pick up her husband, only to experience this 'politician' jumping on her van and tearing off the windshield wipers. The kettle drum slows down, but still being pounding on very hard, representing the migraine headache this 'politician' gives Dallas citizenry.

CUBBYBOY
CUBBYBOY

If you play with fire long enough - you will get burned, I can't wait for John Wiley Price to be in a court room, he is the most corrupt, arrogant, and racist person Dallas politics has ever seen.

creativesun
creativesun

you all are so funny no one owns this planet except the creator of it . where do you people get off thinking that anyone owes you for land, water, or the sky ... who did you pay for its creation and up keep .. when did the creator of this universe give anyone the right to govern anything or anybody except your own personal selves ?.. never!!! every person born on this planet has the right to use this land , water , and sky without charge ..and to be self governing . just because someone claims to be in charge doesn't make it true, unless that's what you want... i refuse to be under any ones rule except the creator of this universe.. it see all and knows all .. there is only one creator and it did not need any help in creating this universe... and doesn't need any help in the governing of it .. but there are those fearful ones who feel the need to be under the control of others.. they say they believe in the creator but they really don't .. The Voices of the true Universal Order

whiterockfan
whiterockfan

It's hardly character assassination. Lots of scandals start out with odd coincidences, strange behavior, and unusual relationships--little "nuthin's" that eventually turn out to be "somethin's."

Reporting these things responsibly (Schutze has--otherwise you would not have had his admissions of uncertainty, which you use to build your case) is journalism.

Ureyes_open
Ureyes_open

it's about time he has been caught , now let's see if justice will do what needs to be done. im sure he has alot more things hidden away in the closet . but as always he will not be charged for nothing in the long run , remember when it's politics they always get free off any crime they done. maybe community service at the zoo would do him some good.

Bill_isom
Bill_isom

The people who defend John Wiley Price and dirty politicians like him are just as bad. They keep sending him back to office again and again because he fights the White Establishment at every turn giving up nothing. In NY, Harlem's dirty Black Congressional Rep Rangel is returned to office after serious ethics violations including not paying his income taxes. The problem is far worse than the politcians because it extends into the minority community as a whole. Their intention is to take whatever they want by "hook or by crook" while being unfairly protected by Federal Discrimination Laws which have been grossly abused.

R Cook
R Cook

What does he want the land for? mineral rights, entry to grady Niblo estates, road access project (which I thought already happened), HUD apts, DART station location when Dart goes down the spur to Cedar HIll???? This has got me thinking....

Littlepup
Littlepup

That's right Jim, multiply your story by a thousand and you know what you get? Nuthin'. A whole lotta nuthin'. Let's see...

Price bought 9 acres of property off of Grady Niblo Road for $150,000 with a bank loan which was paid to the previous owner Wayne White. Not sure what you find so shady about that, happens all the time.

You've got a quitclaim deed filed on the property by Price's assistant transferring her ownership (sic) of the property to Price; a property she does not actually own. Okay, that doesn't make any sense: she's transferring ownership of a property she doesn't own to the man who already owns it. But is it shady? No, because if it was a shady deal she would be filing a bogus quitclaim deed in Price's name deeding the property to herself then trying to sell the property for cash to some dupe before skipping town. She probably filled out the paperwork for Price and didn't know what she was doing. In fact, the quitclaim deed she filed is a boilerplate form from Kaufman County and the clerk should not have filed it because it's titled "Kaufman County" not "Dallas County".

You've got a gothic story of intrigue related by a man, the dominoes playing Wayne White, who you admit in your column is not a credible source of information. But that doesn't stop you from believing his tall tale up to and including an unsubstantiated "allegation" that Price really preferred to buy the land directly from the now safely dead Jack Madera. Huh? You believe that Jim? And to what end? White goes on to explain that Price started showing up to his antique store to play dominoes and suck up. What a shocker! Sweet talking a guy into selling a piece of property! Poor guy was "pressured" into selling his 9 acres with flowers, chocolates and a card on his birthday!

And of course there's the little vignette about Wayne White's (ex)wife who allegedly may have an "interest" in the property even though there is no record of that "interest", her husband attests that she does not, and she can't be found.

Like I said, a whole lot of nuthin'. This ain't journalism, just plain ordinary countrified character assassination.

Smcdonald
Smcdonald

Like it or not, and with all due respect to Robert Webster, there are plenty of good legitimate reasons why a quitclaim deed is requested or executed, even where the grantor does not have legal title. Based on this story, it appears that more than 10 years ago the Commissioner bought a piece of property for $150,000 from a person who had previously bought it from Danny Faulkner. For some reason, his administrative assistant, who may or may not have had some claim to the property, executed a quitclaim deed. Next?

peggy1974
peggy1974

Does Price actually have a real job? I have never heard of it, if he does. If not, how does he get $150,000 loans, Bentleys to drive, etc., etc.? He is really good at running his mouth...(not that he hasn't done some good) but does not know when to shut up. Last I heard, no one gets paid that kind of money for flapping your yap.....can anyone enlighten me?

My_trailer75055
My_trailer75055

No, I'm tired of every time a man of color is arrested/investigated/or charged with a crime, its always because he's black! Don't blame innocent people in jail on his/her peers, blame the prosecutors who put them there

Altha Cutright
Altha Cutright

You people have done the same thing for so many years and still doing it.

Altha Cutright
Altha Cutright

You people have sucked and lied your whole life what have John done that you people haven't done all your blood sucking life?

Altha Cutright
Altha Cutright

If John the most racist individual you have seen buddy you don't have a mirror in your Trailer house.

Altha Cutright
Altha Cutright

This is what I can't wrap my head around you people voted Rick Perry back in office, what have he done for the citizens of Texas? but you voted him back in office. You all are the same morons think he has and still doing a goooooood job. Perry is for himself and not the citizens of this State, does anyone see a pattern here? just saying!!

dino
dino

So funny how "other people" can't see through the forest because of the color of the trees! Get off of your "race" horse and realize the soul of the man. If you have to have back-door scams to conduct a "transaction" YOUR DIRTY! I don't care WHO you are, what COLOR your skin, eyes or hair is! Your the one wearing a pointy hood, it's called a dunce cap...

Riconnel8
Riconnel8

pfffft.....as if a white man has never gone to prison over even less than this. I think y'all are the racists.

DeGriefen
DeGriefen

Nonsense. Co-signing the loan doesn't mean she has any "rights" to the property; it just means the bank will go after her if Price were to default on the loan. The bank has the lien on the property, not a co-signatory on the note. Even if you were right, it wouldn't be in Fain's interest to file a quitclaim relinquishing any rights she has to the property.

Riconnel8
Riconnel8

Yes, I would still care if this man was white. This is NOT a racial issue no matter how hard some of you try to make it so. This is an issue regarding a public official using his office to gain wealth and shake down individuals trying to do honest business. If this man were representing my district and getting wealthy doing it while the area remained blighted I wouldn't care what color he was! I'd want him to go to prison. Even if the area was flourishing this is a slap in the face abuse of power.

Olivia
Olivia

I supposed that you are saying because he is African-American that the media is being unfair right? How about if we all just look at the facts and the new questionable actions that keep coming up, instead of thinking it is a racial bias tactic of the media.

Wrong is wrong!

GrahamG
GrahamG

For you to lose your mother's home through a quit claim deed you would have to file the quit claim deed, which by doing so you would be giving up any claim you had to the property. Someone else can't file a quit claim and take your property, that's not how it works.

GrahamG
GrahamG

You should care because he is skimming money from the very people he claims to represent - the black community. How much do you think he makes working as the commissioner? Not enough to drive the Bentley he drives, I can promise you that much.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Still haven't taken those med, have you?

Altha Cutright
Altha Cutright

John W. Price shouldn't be the only one go down (if it happen) there are lot's of Whites doing the same thing. But remember they are White and they lie good knowing that, they will never be found guilty. You people been stealing and taking all of your life and when a Black man do what you people are doing and come out with money are land you want BLOOD.

DeGriefen
DeGriefen

I can't imagine why we bother having a judicial system when we have a resident character expert like you to tell us who is and is not crooked. Think of all the money we could save avoiding the inconvenient necessity of actually having to prove criminal allegations when we can just take the word of a sanctimonious blowhard like yourself.

whiterockfan
whiterockfan

It's hardly character assassination. Lots of scandals start out with odd coincidences, strange behavior, and unusual relationships--little "nuthin's" that eventually turn out to be "somethin's."

Reporting these things responsibly (Schutze has--otherwise you would not have had his admissions of uncertainty, which you use to build your case) is journalism.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Uh, what if the person in jail actually did what a jury convicted him/her of doing?

Kulawai
Kulawai

Color has nothing to do with this investigation.Abuse of power,gratt,extortion, and crooked deals does. Can you say Bernie Madoff??? The last time I looked he wasn't black.A crook is a crook , black, white, yellow, red,purple, what ever!I am Hawaiian, Chinese, Caucasian and am honest!

rkisok1
rkisok1

Who you callin "you people"?

Tryhgytr
Tryhgytr

I bet you defended Casey Anthony as well..

 
Dallas Concert Tickets
Loading...