At This Rate, Don Hill's Gonna Be Awful Lonesome When His Trial Starts

Categories: Crime, News
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Hey, Don Hill, how many weeks till your trial starts? Wrong. It's two, not one.
First, there was Allen McGill. Then, Andrea Spencer. Then, John Lewis. To that roster of names of folks who've pleaded guilty in the Dallas City Hall corruption case, add a fourth: Kevin Dean, president and a principal of Kevin Dean Asphalt Technology and a concrete subcontractor who today in a Dallas federal courtroom copped to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion for which the mandatory max is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The entire narrative just provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office is after the jump, but the long and short of it is: Dean says that in 2005, he and Lewis, who was his attorney, were trying to get some concrete subcontracts on one of developer Bill Fisher's affordable housing projects in then-Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill's district. Problem was, Fischer had another project scheduled for a greenlight pending a zoning change, and Dean and Lewis told Fisher, Hey, you give us the concrete contract, and we'll smooth out the zoning change with Don Hill for a fee of, oh, $250,000.

Problem was, Fisher was an FBI informant. Continues the feds' account:
On May 11, 2005, Dean and Lewis met with the developer [Fisher] and received the initial $50,000 payment from the developer, and at that time, Lewis signed an Attorney and Consultation Contract between Lewis & Associates and the developer's company for five projects, with "attorney fees" totaling $250,000, and Dean signed a letter agreement between KDAT and the developer's company for Homes of Pecan Grove. Later that morning, Lewis sent a text message to Hill stating: "Everything is signed! Approve the project!!!" Shortly thereafter, Lewis converted the developer's $50,000 payment into a cashier's check and deposited it into his law office trust account.

That same day, Hill moved the City Council to move the developer's zoning change application for Dallas West Village to the end of the council's agenda. Lewis met with Hill early that afternoon, and later that same afternoon, Hill moved the City Council to approve the developer's zoning change application for Dallas West Village.
The City Hall corruption trial's scheduled to begin June 22, and The News posted earlier today both the government's witness list and a massive exhibits inventory. Mark your calendars. And jump.
ANOTHER DEFENDANT CHARGED IN "DALLAS CITY HALL CORRUPTION CASE" PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRING TO COMMIT EXTORTION

DALLAS - Kevin J. Dean, 44, of Dallas, pled guilty in federal court in Dallas this morning to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, announced Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Dean appeared before U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, who accepted his plea. A sentencing date was not set.

Seven other defendants charged in the 31-count indictment, which charged 14 current and former public officials and their associates with various offenses related to a bribery and extortion scheme involving affordable housing developments in the Dallas area, Donald W. Hill, D'Angelo Lee, Sheila D. Farrington, Brian L. Potashnik, Cheryl L. Potashnik, Darren L. Reagan, and Rickey E. Robertson, are scheduled to go on trial before Judge Lynn on Monday, June 22, 2009.

Other defendants who have pled guilty include John J. Lewis, Allen McGill, and Andrea Spencer.

A trial date for defendants Gladys E. Hodge, Ronald W. Slovacek, and Jibreel Rashad, has not been set.

According to documents filed in court, Kevin J. Dean was the president and a principal of Kevin Dean Asphalt Technology, Inc. (KDAT), KDAT Developers, LLC, and Helping Hand Programs, Inc. Co-conspirator John J. Lewis, who is an attorney and principal of Lewis & Associates in Dallas, was Dean's attorney.

Dean sought concrete subcontracts from an affordable housing developer on five projects throughout the state, including a project in the City of Dallas, District 5, where a zoning change was needed and where a project called the Homes of Pecan Grove was nearing the construction phase. Co-conspirator Donald W. Hill was the council person serving the City of Dallas, District 5, in 1999, and then reelected to the same position in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

According to documents filed in court, when Dean and others approached the developer about construction contracts for Homes of Pecan Grove, the developer had another affordable housing tax credit development, Dallas West Village, that was pending a zoning change application before the Dallas City Council. Due to the extortionate demands of others related to these projects, the developer was already working under the FBI's direction when the new extortionate demands were made through KDAT.

It appeared to the developer that he would never get the vote at Dallas City Council needed on his Dallas West Village project, even though he had already paid more than $100,000 to co-conspirator Darren L. Reagan, and others, to get that zoning change. In plea papers filed in Court, Dean admitted that he carried out a scheme with Lewis to extort money from the developer by telling the developer that his payments would be funneled to Hill, in relation to the developer's zoning change application for Dallas West Village.

Following the incorporation of KDAT, on March 29, 2005, Dean sent a letter to the developer stating that all fees necessary to secure the Dallas City Council's approval of his zoning change application for Dallas West Village would be built into the KDAT concrete subcontract for Homes of Pecan Grove. Two days later, Dean discussed with the developer how Dean would separately invoice the amount to be paid to Hill for the City Council's approval of the zoning change application for Dallas West Village. Dean also told the developer that his attorney, John J. Lewis, was going to help put the deal together for obtaining the City Council's approval.

On April 12, 2005, Dean, Lewis, Hill, and another individual, met at Lewis's office and discussed the approval of the developer's zoning change application for West Dallas Village. That evening, Dean and Lewis told the developer that he needed to pay a total of $250,000 for the zoning change approval. Dean and Lewis told the developer that by passing the payments to Hill through Lewis & Associates, there would not be a paper trail linking Hill to the transactions.

On May 11, 2005, Dean and Lewis met with the developer and received the initial $50,000 payment from the developer, and at that time, Lewis signed an Attorney and Consultation Contract between Lewis & Associates and the developer's company for five projects, with "attorney fees" totaling $250,000, and Dean signed a letter agreement between KDAT and the developer's company for Homes of Pecan Grove. Later that morning, Lewis sent a text message to Hill stating: "Everything is signed! Approve the project!!!" Shortly thereafter, Lewis converted the developer's $50,000 payment into a cashier's check and deposited it into his law office trust account.

That same day, Hill moved the City Council to move the developer's zoning change application for Dallas West Village to the end of the council's agenda. Lewis met with Hill early that afternoon, and later that same afternoon, Hill moved the City Council to approve the developer's zoning change application for Dallas West Village. On May 17, 2005, and on May 24, 2005, Lewis wired $15,000 and $10,000, respectively, from the Lewis & Associates trust account to Dean's KDAT account.

Dean admitted that he provided no services to the developer during the course of the extortion conspiracy. Dean faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The parties have agreed that an appropriate guideline imprisonment range is 30-37 months; however the actual sentence imposed, as long as it is within the statutory maximum, is solely within the Court's discretion. The case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marcus Busch, Sarah SaldaƱa, and Chad Meacham are prosecuting.
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