Don Hill Explains Fairness and Why He Didn't Do Brian Potashnik a Solid on the Walker Consent Decree (Now a Live Blog)

Categories: Crime

Sam Merten
Don Hill's third day on the stand in the City Hall corruption trial began with his attorney, Ray Jackson, asking about statements he made in wiretaps about fairness concerning developer Brian Potashnik's decision to reject bids from Ron Slovacek and Andrea Spencer because they were too high. Hill says the fairness issue was related to ensuring minority participation in Potashnik's projects.

Hill says in a case where a developer asks for something to help his bottom line and has expressed a desire to hire minority contractors, the developer needs to understand that the bids will be higher because minority companies typically can't match bids of larger companies.

"I just saw that as a fairness issue that needed to be addressed in some way," he says.

Jackson then asks Hill to elaborate on the Walker Consent Decree, which was discussed Friday afternoon. Hill says at the time Potashnik was asking him to make its removal retroactive, he was unaware that the contracts Potashnik was considering from Slovacek and Spencer were for his Laureland and Scyene projects.

"I did not get into the specifics of it," Hill says of the contracts. "I did not get into the details of it."

As he asked Friday, Jackson again poses this question to Hill: Why didn't you do what he wanted you to do?

"I wasn't trying to unwind deals that's already been done," Hill says. "I'm basically going in what the right direction was."

Hill doesn't take the bait, so Jackson is more specific: Why wouldn't you do it if you were accepting bribes from him?

"I'm not there thinking about what Brian asked me to do," Hill says.

Hill fails again to bite. One more try: Wasn't Brian Potashnik bribing you?

"Brian Potashnik wasn't bribing me," Hill says, explaining that his experience as a lawyer made him aware of what bribery means. "That wasn't what was motivating me."

(In case you missed Hill's first two days on the stand, here's our live blogs from Thursday and Friday.)

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