The defendants' legal team in the Dallas City Hall corruption trial filed today a list of the exhibits it plans to introduce when it's their turn at bat. The list, which you will find in its entirety after the jump, strongly reinforces two major themes that defense lawyers already have alluded to both in court and in statements to the press:
- Everything former city council member Don Hill and his 13 fellow defendants did was business as usual at City Hall and well within the law.
- And former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller did the same stuff but didn't draw the attention of the FBI because she's a rich white woman.
The business-as-usual exhibits are e-mails and consulting contracts the defense will most likely use to persuade the jury that anybody who wants to get anything done at City Hall has to hire a plugged-in consultant, and so what? Fact o' life. What, you think some schmo citizen can get anything done? And you think only white people should be allowed to hire somebody like the Cothrums to get stuff done? Get over yourself.
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The Laura Miller material is more interesting, but of course I would say that. Laura is so finely right on the line, the seam, the fault zone in the cultural geology of Dallas.
She is hated in black Dallas because when she looked at the traditional old Southern-style system of patronage, favors and pay-offs between the white Citizens Council-types in Dallas and the black preacher-led leadership, she saw corruption.
As we will see in this trial, what she saw as corruption the preachers saw as a civil right -- the right to make some money. Trial's off today due to an illness in a juror's family -- and, again, all next week.
When it starts up again, it can only get better. Hill Exhibit List