Dallas- Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was arrested Friday morning for bribery, tax fraud and mail fraud.
Three others also have been named in the 109-page indictment. They are Price’s longtime assistant Dapheny Fain, political consultant Kathy Nealy and business consultant Christian Campbell.
All four pleaded not guilty on Friday afternoon in their initial court appearance.
John Wiley Price, the first African American elected to the Dallas County Commissioner’s Court, has served for more than 25 years and remains as passionate and popular as he was when he first took office on January 1, 1985.
Price, lovingly known in the Black community as “Our Man Downtown”, has been a strong and compassionate voice on issues involving Blacks, Hispanics and the poor.
His vision, his vigor and his veracity has made him popular throughout this nation as a powerful proponent and advocate for all of the people of Dallas County and far beyond. He is a bold Black politician and a man of principle who has never backed down and always makes his positions crystal clear.
He has always been tough and passionate leader on issues and has never hesitated to reach out, help others or take important messages and issues to the streets.
Federal prosecutors claim from 2001 to 2011 Price allegedly received a stream of $950,000 in corrupt payments and financial benefits in the form of money, cars and land.
The government not only accuses Price of receiving over $950,000 in cash, gifts and land according to the indictment, but also contends he did not report over $1.1 million on his tax returns which is why the IRS was also involved in the three year investigation.
The thirteen count indictment are:
- Count 1 — Conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits by Price, Nealy and Campbell.
- Counts 2-7 — Deprivation of honest services by mail fraud and aiding and abetting by both Price and Nealy.
- Count 8 — Conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by Price, Nealy and Fain.
- Counts 9-11 — Subscribing to a false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax return for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. According to the indictment, Price reported income of $104,770 in 2007, $109,124 in 2008 and $109,758 in 2009. Investigators said in each year Price “received additional substantial income.”
- Count 12 — Attempt to evade or defeat payment of tax by Nealy.
- Count 13 — False statement by Fain.
“These payments and benefits … were made in furtherance of the conspiracy and to achieve its objects, and to influence and reward Price to take action or refrain from taking negative action, as specific opportunities arose,” the federal indictment said.
When asked outside the federal building in downtown Dallas if he would resign, Price said, “You gotta be kidding me.”