The John Wiley Price Investigation: Setting the Record Straight In More Ways Than One

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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I need to correct an error and an omission. Yesterday I posted an item identifying the lawyer who defended Dallas County Judge Jim Foster from an intimidation attempt by Commissioner John Wiley Price as Ken Barr. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ken Barr is a former mayor of Fort Worth and member of the board of directors of the North Texas Tollway Authority. He has nothing to do with the FBI probe into the affairs of Price or with Price's efforts to use judges under his sway to intimidate his critics.

The lawyers who represented Foster when Price came after him were Christopher M. Weil and John Barr of Dallas, both able barristers. I'm especially mad at myself for misidentifying John Barr, because he has a long history of standing up for what's right in battles going way back to the vote fraud issues of a decade ago and deserves credit for his efforts.

John Barr, not Ken Barr.

The omission was Danny Defenbaugh, former FBI special agent in charge in Dallas, now in private security work. Defenbaugh was hired in September 2009 by commissioners Maurine Dickey, Kenneth Mayfield and Foster to investigate corruption in Dallas County government. I wrote an item earlier in the week about people who have been vindicated by the current FBI probe of the county -- not because the existence of a probe proves anybody is guilty of anything but because it shows the people calling for an investigation for the last three years were not nuts.

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Photo by Sam Merten
The general shape of the FBI probe emerging from federal documents released so far as well as information I have been able to glean from good sources lead me to believe that Defenbaugh's investigative report to the commissioners lies somewhere close to the center of the current FBI probe. The things Defenbaugh learned about money flowing through KwanzaaFest, Price's annual ethnic festival, clearly are now drawing scrutiny from his former colleagues at the FBI.

So in my list of people who are looking smarter lately, I should have put Defenbaugh somewhere near the top. And I should have had John Barr's name right.

That's about all the crow I can manage for today without gastrointestinal distress, so if you are aware of anything else I have screwed up, could you please keep that under your hat at least until Monday? Oh, forget I even asked.

A last thought, more about the story, less about moi: I attended the strange anti-FBI prayer meeting at Kirkwood Temple CME Church Wednesday night, where Freddie Haynes, pastor of Friendship-West, delivered his impassioned sermon tying together slavery, "silver rights," the Gestapo and the FBI. Friendship West you will remember from testimony in the 2009 Don Hill City Hall federal corruption trial as the church on whose parking lot the cash was passed.

I knew a lot of people I saw in the pews at Kirkwood. I've known them for years. These are fine people, solid family people with good moral sense. This chapter, as it unfolds, is going to be terribly painful for them, because they have believed in the virtue and courage of Price.

But the content of the warrants point the way toward the healing of that wound. For the first time ever -- the first time in a series of federal investigations going back a third of a century -- this one is looking across the river to the source of the money.

In the past people like former Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, now in prison, have received a special moral allowance from the black community because the probes were never seen as fully legitimate, morally or legally. Why? Because the white folks on the other end of the corruption machine usually got a walk.

I'm not talking about relatively little guys like Brian Potashnik, the white apartment developer sentenced to prison for bribing Hill. Who? You can't see me right now, but I am pointing up. Up. Higher than that. Up up up. Way up the social business ladder.

What this investigation is beginning already to show is that Dallas's corruption problems are a two-way street, south and north, white and black, poor and rich, from top to bottom. If the evidence shows Price and his cohorts clearly in the wrong and if it also puts a spotlight on the rich white guys who manipulate from above, then the good people at Kirkwood temple will get it. They will heal from their pain. They will want to see right prevail.

I'm not so sure about the Park Cities. That's a harder moral nut to crack.


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38 comments
Et Tu Brutus
Et Tu Brutus

John  Wiley,  Mr.  no justice, no peace. He no doubt has a  deep hatred for whites but really likes  to spend the greenbacks of Lincoln, Ben Franklins photo on them.

Godblessyou
Godblessyou

Jwp you go to jerry gaffney ministries and you read under dreams and interpretations what Jesus Christ predicted about you a year ago. God knows everything that you have been doing. There will be an overturn just like God said. God bless you. You can find it under the screen name Trinitylove.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

You do know that one of the first act of Clay Jenkins was to inform John Barr's wife that she would not be reappointed as Truancy Judge.Jenkins didn't even know this woman or the job she was doing,I believe it was John Price punishment of John Barr for his representing Foster.He notified her before being sworn into Office.

Ellen K
Ellen K

If you ever get interested, you might want to ask yourself why Alliance Airport was built over the objections of the FAA, who managed to get the permits and why this plays a role in what is happening in south Dallas county. There's a strange friendship, you could even call is an alliance, between JWP and the Perots.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Do you, by chance, have a recording of the speech by Haynes? I was unable to go, and I really wanted to hear the ministers--- to see what rope-knotting convoluted logic they would use this time... So, tell me how the GESTAPO was brought into this? Before the mayor's election, I wanted to protest with a sign at his church--and I will ask again, andbody want to join with me? It is time for ministers to remember whom they serve---God and their flock, not their bankers...

Mike
Mike

We will likely find the Price corruption does not touch any one really from north Dallas. I expect they covered themselves very well. Any money they sent south was likely well covered legally. The Feds want to know to make sure the receivers paid taxes. Rich people in Dallas do not do complex land deals with girlfriends and aides, do not keep stacks of cash at home.

If Mr. Price had any evidence, he would have used it. Connected people in Dallas have known he was headed for a fall for awhile. I would not be surprised if any contact with north Dallas has been compartmentalized for years. If you think you will find a big check with Perot's name on it with Inland Port in the memo field, forget it. Contributing big amounts to Mr. Price's charities and campaigns for more than a decade is much better. Perfectly legal and puts all the onus on the politician on how he/she extracts the actual cash.

Bevolaw
Bevolaw

@ JimS - You are correct. The FBI has to take down the rich white guys behind the blacks actions to truly correct the problem and appear fair and nondiscriminatory. Its the right and just thing to do regardless of race. To really put a stop to this widespread corruption once and for all, the feds have no choice but to take them all down.  

tony labiento
tony labiento

The Democrats 'Big Daddy Government' giveth and taketh. Personally who cares what possessions or wealth JWP has obtained. If he did indeed snooker his sheeples out of their money and they are happy dupes then so be it. However let not them complain when the Dems BDG they vote for comes knocking on the door--and with brother Barack as President no less. You get the government you vote for. So then the Dems BDG giveth and the Dems BDG taketh away too.  The Democrat Party leadership is happy to turn its back on God and His Word yet the Black sheeple voters (most who believe God) keep voting for their godless Dem leaders.  Why?  because the Dems BDG has got them addicted to the goodies and the tribe mentality of sheeples dare not vote otherwise.  Praise God in the churches but the Dems godless BDG gets worshipped at the ballot box. So whats the problem when JWP's Dem BDG is applying a little discipline---his fellow blacks voted Dem and so this is the result. I say leave JWP alone if his sheeples don't care but the Dems BDG has other ideas. Like I said, you deserve the government you vote for---you listenin' black folks still stuck on your masters the Dems?

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

And don't forget that John Barr is the man who got tired of graffiti in his OC neighborhood and hired a man to go around painting over it--even though the city of Dallas said that was illegal and threatened arrest.  The City said that properties blighted by graffiti needed to go through the City's weeks-long approval and review process before the graffiti could be painted over. John Barr would get my vote for mayor if he ever ran--he understands that to "think small" is what makes a city great.

Dominicide
Dominicide

Dammit Shootz, you lawyered up didn't you?

I really respect your reporting and I wait for most words that you have written, but saying now this Defenbaugh report informs you of JWP's wrong-doing seems to imply that you dug up this report to say that the accusations have already been out there. That you never implied extortion. A narrow minded individual may say it implies that you are covering your ass; re-writing history, and; coloring your conversations with more writing with the assistance of counsel.

Please tell me how wrong I am.

RUKidnme
RUKidnme

JWP has the opportunity to help put an end to this hell if he would go back to being the rebel he once was and break his loyalty to that gang right now and do the right thing. He knows what the those at the top of this corruption have done and it is the opposite of what Kirkwood Temple stands for or should stand for. I still can't believe even JWP would let them go as far as they have in destroying his community and this state and doing the horrible things they have to other people. If he won't do what's right then his community needs a leader to rise up and show them an alternative to following the greedy crook JWP has become.

Alpone
Alpone

BTW, is that a Rolex he's wearing?

Alpone
Alpone

Wouldn't term limits for all elected officials benefit Dallas?

Raydan
Raydan

Speaking of... where is Tom Leppert these days?

guest
guest

"Corruption" is a team game. It takes two, or more.  If the FBI investigation unearths, documents and brings corruption to light, there will be more than one person for people to be disillusioned with.

Michael123
Michael123

Former Dallas Morning News editorial columnist Ruben Navarrette who now opines at the San Diego Union Tribune posted on his facebook account last week that based on a very reliable local (Dallas) source of his, another big shot other than JWP would also be caught up in this FBI investigation.

jamal
jamal

Did you wear a disguise to that prayer meeting?

Jeneheffer
Jeneheffer

Jim Schultze, you are my hero and I even have a tee shirt with your name on it. If you didn't keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on in Dallas and report it (humorously I might add) then everyone would have to rely on the DMN, oh no, not that! or do their own investigating, oh no, not that. I really haven't been this interested in an investigation since the OJ trial, which was a very poorly handed TV mini series.I hope that the FBI are so very thorough in this investigation that Price and all his cronies can't slitter out of an inditement.

BoPeep
BoPeep

Round up all the bad guys (and girls) no matter what color they may be. Clean up this mess once and for all!

Handsome Lance Manion
Handsome Lance Manion

"What this investigation is beginning already to show is that Dallas's corruption problems are a two-way street, south and north, white and black, poor and rich, from top to bottom."

So this indeed is not about racism or socioeconomic class struggle. There is finally unity in Dallas with all races working for a common goal! When is the parade?

JErikJonsson
JErikJonsson

If the evidence shows Price and his cohorts clearly in the wrong and if it also puts a spotlight on the rich white guys who manipulate from above, then the good people at Kirkwood temple will get it. They will heal from their pain. They will want to see right prevail.

You know them better than I do; so I'll believe you and keep watching.

I'm skeptical, though.  I've supported a few politicians that ultimately proved to be crooks. And I mean gave 'em money and worked their campaigns.  It's easy to do here in Texas.  I can't recall having an impulse to go to a prayer meeting when they came under investigation, though.  Maybe I'm not "the good people."

JimS
JimS

You're right -- it's probably unlikely that the feds will be able to pin any actual criminal culpability on the big dogs across the river. Unlikley but not impossible. It's-so-sad, in his or her response to you, is also right -- the money flows through contracts, not manilla envelopes.

But things get complicated. A private person could do business with a public official who is corrupt, benefit from that official's corrupt activities, but not take part in those activities in a way that crosses the line into criminality. A private person could know a lot without having a criminal exposure. It's all in the tit-for-tat.  The private party also could award what is on the surface a perfectly legal contract in exchange for a corrupt outcome. I'm no lawyer, but I think that sort of thing starts to put the private party closer to trouble.

This cake has been five years in the baking. That either makes it a really good case or a really bad one. We shall see.

I sort of regret writing that the case must extend across the river. That's thinking in terms of poetic justice, and poetic justice is not an element in the American criminal justice system, which is probably a good thing. Otherwise we wouldn't need judges or courts -- just poets.

The case will go where the evidence goes. It's probaly a mistake to encourage people to expect anything else. I am guilty as charged, but I am hoping for deferred adjudication in exchange for certain information I would be able to provide. In fact, I've got stuff on the Dallas Morning News that should get me deferred adjudication and a Bentley.

Its so sad
Its so sad

Amen brother.

Notice in all the stories - Kathy Nealy gets big consulting contracts; JWP buys and sells cars for a profit, Willis J gets contracts; Price and West get campaign contributions; West gets LOTS of legal work. (Will have to look up how many MILLIONS the DISD has paid West over the years); JWP used to lead his Warriors in street protests until a few more of his cronies got nice comfy jobs (doing little or nothing).

This is how they get paid. If the FBI can actually put ALL OF THIS TOGETHER, a LOT of peoples are going down!

Good luck. JWP didn't get where he is by being dumb.

Ellen K
Ellen K

Isn't that vaguely racist to imply that a person of color can't be corrupt on their own?

Godblessyou
Godblessyou

No God giveth and and taketh away. If God gives someone a postition and they continuasly abuse it, then God will take it away one way or another.  It is wrong to be in authority and take advantage and distroy others peoples lives. Unfortunately there are those who do.  But sooner or later they fall.  What they do to others and thier familes catches up with them. John wiley price is not smarter than God. People who have control of being a commissioner, can be very petty and commission birth records to be changed, and also issue warrants for peoples arrest, or keep past records open.   They do it intentionally.   What goes around comes around.  If those in authority want to bully others, it will come back around.

Cliff Dweller
Cliff Dweller

On the other hand, he's part of the developer group planning to force through rezoning of 840 acres around his offices.  So that's not so small. . . 

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Nope, it just makes easier for the Perots and others to buy politicos.

The Dallas City Council and the California have term limits, how has that turned out?

Montemalone
Montemalone

Probably borrowed Cheney's shredders and staying pretty busy.

Mary
Mary

D.A.'s office?

Dominicide
Dominicide

The, I am not a lawyer jig is up. The jig is up.

Honeybee
Honeybee

The black community could thwart the big dogs across the river quite easily.-Root out the traitors in their own community.  Demand the harshest penalties and the swiftest justice.-Vote in honest leaders regardless of race--and therein lies the quandry--who will not use them and their votes to profit personally.

Because of the sacrifices of the Civil Rights movement, racial lines are now blurred and the younger generations do not define themselves that way.  Race-based voting among the older generation, while understandable, is opening them up to exploitation.

jamesworthy
jamesworthy

Jim, so what sort of "stuff" do you have on DMN and why do you not report that? is that your own "ace in the hole" or "get out of prison card"?   It seems that there's this unspoken/unwritten rule that media outlets seem to have for one another which is: "hey you don't report on our dirty laundry and we won't report on yours!"....But I digress

Anyways, I find it somewhat amusing that the WFAA has been using the very information and stories you've written in the past as content material for their own "investigative reports" on this epic JWP-investigation  story.....I think they owe you guys a license fee at least...;)

Godblessyou
Godblessyou

They do it to people who are innocent. I know I was harrassed by authorities and I was issued warrants that where un warranted. Just lies and abuse of power by corrupt petty greedy politicians.

Ellen K
Ellen K

Seriously, when Alliance was built it was intended to take the place of Love as a regional hub. The FAA didn't like it. There used to be an aviation newspaper called General Aviation News. They ran a story on the FAA's reluctance and got some pretty serious legal letters. If you can find the old editor, he may still have the files if he's even still around.

Raydan
Raydan

oh no you didn't! LOL!

cp
cp

Nah, it's Royce West.

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