Reporters do not gasp, generally speaking, but there were muttered exclamations that might as well have been gasps when Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, age 64, was led into a large and formal federal courtroom this afternoon. His hands were manacled behind his back, his awkward gait in ... More >>
Remember all of the awesome details from the 2008 Democratic primary race in Texas between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? No? Weird. Well the short version of that story is that Clinton won Texas. The longer version is that a businessman from Washington D.C spent hundreds of thousands of secret m ... More >>
What will Ron Kirk do when he returns to Dallas after leaving the Obama cabinet next month? If I had to bet, I'd say he won't return to Dallas, which will be a shame. If he did come home, maybe he could do something about these local Democrats. Former Dallas mayor Kirk is getting high marks from bo ... More >>
Oh my God, am I just going to keep blabbing about John Wiley Price every day for the rest of my life? Will I wind up buckled into a padded chair against the wall in some long corridor with ladies in white dresses whispering to the visitors, "He's the John Wiley Price talker?" Yup. Today I have to ... More >>
Dallas County appointed a hate-group found to a homeland security committee. Feel safe yet?
Santa brings political theater fans an early Christmas present.
Federal dough meant for affordable housing went to downtown.
Tribal politics at the heart of Dallas' corruption problems.
The Lord doesn't always watch over fools.
The current issue of Texas Monthly takes on the Dallas FBI corruption investigation, sort of, in a "Behind the Lines" essay by deputy editor Brian D. Sweany. He invokes Dallas, the TV show, and another TV show, The Wire, to conclude that, "Like any good drama, it may take a while for the trut ... More >>
Look, I hate it when people tell me stuff and then won't tell me how they know it. I generally apply about a 50 percent discount to information like that. So I'm about to do the same thing to you: tell you a bunch of stuff I have been learning about the ongoing FBI public corruption investiga ... More >>
OK, let's get over the thing about "no one has been indicted" in the ongoing federal corruption investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. It's true. No one has been indicted. But let's be real. Somebody will be. I am working on a column for next week's paper about behind ... More >>
I have been looking back at the federal corruption conviction that forced the late Al Lipscomb off the Dallas City Council in 2000. That conviction was set aside two years later by a conservative panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. We have lessons, people. Lessons. ... More >>
I need to correct an error and an omission. Yesterday I posted an item identifying the lawyer who defended Dallas County Judge Jim Foster from an intimidation attempt by Commissioner John Wiley Price as Ken Barr. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Ken Barr is a former mayor of Fort Worth and member of the ... More >>
Last week I was talking to a very well-known Dallas television investigative reporter about the Dallas County federal corruption probe. I won't name him here, because it was a personal call to discuss something else. But he made a point that kept coming back to me all through the long holiday ... More >>
Sam MertenBrian PotashnikAs you'll no doubt recall, Brian and Cheryl Potashnik were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn the week before Christmas. The couple, of course, was among the first to take guilty pleas in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption case that eventually landed forme ... More >>
Hey, Don Hill, how many verdicts left to come down in the City Hall corruption trial?[Update at 10:23 a.m.: The judge's office sends word that Ron Slovacek was found guilty on all three counts of the superseding indictment -- counts 10, 12 and 19, to be specific. More details to come.]The staff's ... More >>
Sam MertenWhy does Lee look so good in that suit? Gotta be the aerobics in the morning and yoga at night.On July 23 -- the second day of Brian Potashnik's testimony in the Dallas City Hall corruption trial -- prosecutor Marcus Busch played a series of damning wiretaps for jurors. He paused th ... More >>
Hey, Don Hill, how many trials are left in the federal City Hall corruption case?We've got July 12 circled in red on our calendars: That's when Ron Slovacek goes to trial in U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn's courtroom -- making him the way last defendant to be tried in the Dallas City Hall ... More >>
Justin DehnIt's been interesting this morning, trying to piece together exactly what Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is telling Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith. At this very moment they're doing a TT sitdown at the Austin Club, and I've been following along via Twitter. The ... More >>
Danny FulgencioA Friend of Unfair Park now living in NYC directs our attention to The Daily Beast's compendium of The Most Corrupt States (which several TDB readers are taking issue with, since Illinois comes in way down at No. 47). And, after factoring in such things as the number of corrupt pub ... More >>
Interesting item on the Dallas City Council's agenda this morning: "Judicial Nominating Commission." (It's Action Item No. 5, for those playing along at home.) City Attorney Tom Perkins is offering the council three alternative ways to fix the body that vets candidates for municipal judgeships. S ... More >>
Sam MertenKen Mayfield may not know Beth Villarreal, but she's not Jaime Cortes, and that's enough for him to lend a helping hand in the April 13 runoff between the two Dems.Nothing whets our political appetite like rumors of alliances between Republicans and Democrats during election season. ... More >>
Hey, Don Hill, how many years in prison did guilty-plea-taker John Lewis get today?John Lewis and Kevin Dean were among the first two to plead guilty, both to one count of extortion, in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption case -- Lewis in March of last year; Dean, in June. When Lewis pleaded ... More >>
Sam MertenBetween the four of them -- from left to right: D'Angelo Lee, Sheila Hill, Darren Reagan and Don Hill -- you're looking at 55 years of federal prison time.And speaking of the U.S. Attorney's Office ...Jim and Sam were otherwise occupied this morning and couldn't make it back to the Earl ... More >>
Hey, Don Hill, how many City Hall federal corruption trials are left?Didn't see this coming: Jibreel Rashad's guilty! Rashad, of course, was among the myriad defendants named in the feds' indictment in the Dallas City Hall corruption case, and, like those who came before him -- those who pleaded ... More >>
Sam MertenRep. Terri HodgeWe just love shenanigans, so it's no wonder why we found ourselves roped in by claims from Eric Johnson's campaign that some of the petitions attached to state Representative Terri Hodge's ballot application didn't pass the smell test. It appeared as though Hodge, wh ... More >>
For reasons we can't explain, politicos are sticking by state Representative Terri Hodge in her bid for an eighth term in office despite the pending March 8 trial for her role in the federal corruption case involving affordable-housing developer Brian Potashnik. Her host committee includes lo ... More >>
U.S. District Judge Barbara LynnLast week, as you no doubt recall, Sheila Hill's attorney, Victor Vital, requested a new trial or evidentiary hearing based upon possible jury misconduct preceding all those guilty verdicts in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption trial. Now we know how U.S. Dist ... More >>
Sam MertenAnn Margolin and Angela HuntYesterday, just after Angela Hunt posted her lengthy essay titled "Ethics Reform at City Hall," Jim wrote that "we can thank council members Hunt, Ann Margolin and Linda Koop for adding the only real teeth in this poor gum-smacker." So happens that on Monday, ... More >>
Patrick MichelsIn an editorial today The Dallas Morning News gives all the credit for better ethics at City Hall to Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert because, "In the end, Tom Leppert didn't blink." They must have sent a greenhorn over to cover the city council's straw vote on ethics reform last week. An ... More >>
And then there were three -- which is to say, three folks who have pleaded guilty in the Dallas City Hall corruption case, scheduled to go to trial in June. Taking his cue from Andrea Spencer and Allen McGill, lawyer John Lewis -- among the 14 named by the feds in the low-income housing development ... More >>
Josephine Davis used to work in the Dallas office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of General Counsel -- used to. Now, she may very well end up in prison for the next decade. Lesson learned? Do not use a government-issued credit card to spend $10,000 on a retirement party f ... More >>
How many years did Darren Reagan get in federal prison, Don Hill? Could have been worse. Darren Reagan, among those awaiting trial in the low-income housing scheme down at City Hall that snared the likes of Don Hill and Brian Potashnik (ah, the oldies but goodies), was looking at a potential 50-year ... More >>
Don Hill, giving the finger to his attorney's motions to dismiss Last night, Jack Fink mentioned the two motions to dismiss former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill's attorney, Ray Jackson, filed on behalf of his client on July 25. Hill, of course, has been indicted on federal corruption charges tied to ... More >>
Turns out former city council member James Fantroy's indictment is a spin-off from the City Hall corruption investigation -- kind of like Rhoda was to The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Alas, no perp walks or indictees vowing to fight the charges while holding back tears. Except for the allegations that for ... More >>
Former city council member James Fantroy told Channel 11's Jack Fink he's heard rumors that indictments are "coming down pretty soon." I just returned from a screening to discover, via FrontBurner, that a hearty mazel tov's due Jack Fink for breaking the news that our long national nightmare's near ... More >>
The first sentence of the press release we just received got us very, very excited: "U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper and FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Casey will hold a press conference TODAY, Tuesday, May 29, at 11:00 a.m. to announce an indictment in a public corruption case." Could it be.. ... More >>