Attorney Ray Jackson resumed the direct examination of his client, former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, this morning at approximately 8:45 a.m., as Jackson continued to ask Hill about his accomplishments as a Dallas City Council member. Hill says former council member Maxine Thornton-Reese urged him to accomplish two goals: "unite the African American council members" and revitalize downtown.
Along with serving on downtown tax increment finance boards, Hill says he helped bring the Urban Market to downtown and renovated the Mercantile with support from former Mayor Laura Miller. Miller was the Merc's strongest advocate, Hill says, and "romanced it."
"We still have a long way to go -- I admit that," Hill says of downtown revitalization.
After reviewing some plaques, including one for U.S.-Taiwanese trade and another from Hunt Oil, Jackson showed Hill a photo from former council member Ed Oakley's 50th birthday party. Hill described the shindig as a roast and called Oakley a good friend. Of course, he endorsed Mayor Tom Leppert in the run-off between Leppert and Oakley after Hill finished third in the 2007 mayoral race. Hill added that Oakley's birthday is an annual event. Really? Mine too.
So far, Hill's time on the stand provided zero relevant info regarding the serious charges he faces until Jackson brought up the prosecution's use of the term mistress while referring to his wife Sheila during the trial.
"That has been the most painful part of the entire trial," Hill says.
She's paying the price for his sin and his adultery, he adds.
"I'm sorry about that. If I could do it again, I would do it so much better," Hill says. "I've confessed it. I believe I've been forgiven for it."