John Wiley Price's federal corruption trial has been delayed again, this time until February 2017. This guarantees that Price will be sworn into his seat as Dallas County commissioner one more time before the case's resolution.
Price's attorneys and federal prosecutors agreed to delay the trial in deference to the incredible amount of discovery the defense is having to inspect — seven terabytes worth of documents, video and audio recordings. All told, there are more than 5.7 million items in the case's discovery file including "286 discs containing Commissioner’s Court recordings for 2002-2011, for which no transcripts have been provided; 7 hard drives of pole camera videos; and 500 gigabytes of emails and documents produced by Dallas County," according to court documents.
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The commissioner is charged with taking almost $1 million in bribes over nearly a decade from vendors seeking contracts with Dallas County. Two of his alleged co-conspirators, Christian Campbell (a bag man who funneled cash to a political consultant) and Karen Manning (an art dealer), have already pleaded guilty to lesser charges. That pair is expected to roll on Price.
His trial, initially expected to begin in September, will likely last a couple of months, Jeff Ansley, a former federal prosecutor who's worked corruption cases in the past told the Observer last July.
Having defeated Dwaine Caraway in March's Democratic primary, Price is a lock to win the general election in his overwhelmingly Democratic district. Under the previous scheduling, Price was vulnerable to being removed from office before his new term started in January 2017.
Now, the more likely scenario is that he'll be removed only once his conviction is finalized and his appeals are exhausted. If that happens, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins will get to pick a replacement to fill in for Price until the next general election.