Well, At Least the City of Dallas Is Getting a $1.25 Million Check Out of Brian Potashnik

Categories: City Hall, Crime
Brian_Potashnik_Merten.jpg
Sam Merten
Brian Potashnik
As you'll no doubt recall, Brian and Cheryl Potashnik were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn the week before Christmas. The couple, of course, was among the first to take guilty pleas in the Dallas City Hall federal corruption case that eventually landed former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill in prison for 18 years -- a sentence his family believes is "excessive," matter of fact, based upon this brand-new petition in which they're calling for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. Cheryl was given two years probation and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine; Brian, the low-income housing developer, got 14 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $1.25 million to the city of Dallas.

According to court records, the couple ponied up the dough yesterday. Court officials say the check will be transferred to the city today. Early this morning, City Manager Mary Suhm told Unfair Park the money will be deposited into the general fund, but "it won't be filling a gap." (This afternoon, as we've mentioned all week, Suhm will tell the council to expect a $41-million to $96-million budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.) Instead, Suhm said, "We'll do something with affordable housing, we're just not sure yet -- we don't have the specifics. The judge was pretty clear about what she wants to happen."
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J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

Talked with a prominent local criminal defense lawyer the other day. He says he's shocked by the lenience of the Potashniks' sentences. No jail time for Mrs. Potashnik was a particular surprise.

I think you could eliminate half of the corruption in local government by simply refusing to engage in any public funding of housing.

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