Crime

Prosecution Puts Focus On Masking Funds As Defense Begins Closing Arguments In Dallas City Hall Corruption Trial (A Live Blog)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana continued her disjointed closing argument in the Dallas City Hall corruption trial this morning, focusing on the prosecution's belief that former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill and others masked the alleged bribe payments from affordable-housing developer Brian Potashnik. Saldana asked: What kind of legitimate business operates in cash? Why are there no checks to D'Angelo Lee?

She also played a series of wiretaps, in which she said the defendants are talking in code, using terms such as tax and fairness. "It's clear that there's code because everyone is aware that what they're doing is not proper and illegal," Saldana said.

D'Angelo Lee tells Ron Slovacek in a wiretap: "We need to take care of Don via Sheila."

"If they're not doing something illegal, why is it via Sheila?" Saldana asked jurors. "Because they're trying to mask the source of the funds."

Saldana just wrapped up, with the Ted Steinke, attorney for Darren Reagan, on the clock -- literally, as he said he brought an alarm clock with him. He's scheduled for approximately one hour to be followed by Darlene Clayton-Deckard, attorney for Rickey Robertson, for about 90 minutes; Doug Greene, attorney for D'Angelo Lee, for one hour; Victor Vital, attorney for Sheila Hill, for 90 minutes; and Ray Jackson, attorney for Don Hill, for 90 minutes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcus Busch will then use the remainder of the prosecution's six and a half hour allotment before the case is handed over to the jury.

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten

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