I'm at the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse waiting for the afternoon session of the City Hall corruption trial to launch. The feds presented their case this morning. The only substantial news was a confirmation that affordable housing developer Brian Potashnik will, as expected, testify against former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill and former city plan commission member D'Angelo Lee.
The government's case paints Potashnik as having been a willing, even avid co-conspirator with Hill and associates, more than happy to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get favorable votes on his deals at City Hall. Apparently the FBI went to Potashnik and his wife early on in its investigation and offered them a chance to help the government make its case. According to the feds, the Potashniks said they would not cooperate.
Guess he had one of those courthouse-steps conversions.
O.K., gotta go. Hill's lawyer is up right now, and he's talking about Southern Dallas and economic development. He says Hill helped refugees from Hurricane Katrina and also worked with something called "Project Angel," if I got it right.
"The Southern sector of Dallas works a little bit different from other areas," Hill's lawyer is telling the jury.
"You're going to hear that a big problem in the past was that developers would come to Southern Dallas, build and leave the properties to become run-down."
O.K., I need to listen to this.
Update at 2:35 p.m.: Clearly unaware of the high-speed chase that enthralled a nation for more than one hour and just ended with one hellacious smash-'em-up near Plano Road, Schutze is now live-blogging from the Don Hill trial in the comments. Join him, won't you?
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