Alas, no perp walks or indictees vowing to fight the charges while holding back tears. Except for the allegations that former councilman James Fantroy Sr. embezzled federal funds from Paul Quinn College, the unsealing by U.S. Attorney Richard Roper of four separate indictments stemming from the the Dallas City Hall corruption investigation was downright anticlimactic.
After a two-plus-year investigation, the 31-count indictment of 14 current and former public officials and their associates for bribery and extortion related to low-income housing developments was no surprise. But the three other indictments -- which are available in full below -- were unrelated to the allegations of Dallas City Hall corruption. The alleged crimes were discovered in the course of the federal investigation. Talk about bad luck.
Fantroy is accused of stealing about more than $5,000 from federal grants to Paul Quinn College, where he served as treasurer and member of the board. If convicted he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, restitution and a $250,000 fine. James Potashnik Sr., Brian Potashnik's father, was charged with evading income taxes totaling more than $100,000 over three years. And Darren Reagan is alleged to have made false statements to hide that his relatives were living in Section 8 Housing.
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Roper announced the indictments accompanied by FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Casey and IRS Special Agent Erick Martinez. All three defended the length of the investigation, which was made public 27 months ago when federal search warrants were served at City Hall and the homes and offices of various city officials.
"I think this is an elaborate multi-level scheme," Roper said. "There was an effort to hide, conceal, extort and bribe. I think that justified the time we took."
Casey described the process of examining the evidence as extensive, with more than 200 bank accounts examined, more than 40 search warrants served and more than 3,000 incidents reviewed.
"If you read the details spelled out in this lengthy indictment, these schemes were complex and designed to be hidden," Casey sayd. "There are those who called into question the motivations of the FBI in this investigation. We did our duty and that made some people nervous. The FBI's highest purpose is to deal with public corruption. Rather than be the subject of criticism, [federal agents] should be applauded as heroes." --Glenna Whitley