Dallas Leaders Walked Arm-in-Arm with John Wiley Price in the Betrayal of Southern Dallas

Categories: Schutze

Richard Allen saw the destiny of Dallas in lines on the land. Dallas couldn't see it.

You could almost forget about the indictment last week of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, put it out of your mind's eye, not even think where it will end and better spend your time thinking about trucking. It's the more compelling story.

Logistics is the business of taking cargo off ships, putting it on trains, taking it off the trains and putting it in warehouses, storing it and sending it where it needs to go. It's enormously technical and computer driven. Richard Allen is the head of one of the world's premiere logistics companies.

At some point before 2000, Allen looked at a map of the United States and a pattern leaped out at him like Peruvian Nasca lines etched in the surface of the planet, visible from 30,000 feet up but unknown to the people who plod across it every day. What Allen saw was a pinwheel of highways and railroad lines spinning out across North America with a central hub in a place he had never thought of before called southern Dallas.

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John Wiley Price, Shuffling in Cuffs and Leg-Irons, Enters His Plea

Categories: Schutze

U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana laid out indictments giving a whole new meaning to "business friendly" in Dallas.
Reporters do not gasp, generally speaking, but there were muttered exclamations that might as well have been gasps when Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, age 64, was led into a large and formal federal courtroom this afternoon. His hands were manacled behind his back, his awkward gait in leg-irons an ironic echo of the slow-walking technique he made famous in youthful years as a street protester.

See also: John Wiley Price and Associates Indicted by Feds in Alleged Bribery Scheme

The arraignments of Price and three others followed a mid-day press conference in which U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana laid out the basic case, which has everything to do with business. Dallas businesses large and small used Price and political consultant Kathy Nealy to get contracts, the indictment claims, but also to gain an inside track on projects and requests for proposals as they were being developed. The big picture painted by Saldana was of a climate that could be very business friendly, if a business paid to play, while putting a knife in the backs of those that did not.

Following Price into the courtroom later, also shuffling in cuffs and leg-irons, came Nealy, 64, Price's executive assistant Dapheny Fain, 52, and Nealy associate Christian Campbell, 44. A few people in the public pews stood up and craned to see their leg-irons. One whispered, "I never thought I would see that."

Mixed with the four defendants were four other federal defendants, one in an orange jumpsuit and two others in gray prison stripes. The four high-profile defendants were taken first while the others looked on, one of them unable to stop gaping at Price.

All four defendants in the public corruption case entered pleas of not guilty in a subdued proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney. The only expression of any feeling was in Price's emphatic "not guilty."

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John Wiley Price and Associates Indicted by Feds in Alleged Bribery Scheme

Categories: Schutze

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Alex Scott
John Wiley Price was arrested at his home this morning, three years after his house was raided.
Arrests by federal agents this morning of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price on bribery conspiracy charges, along with charges against three associates, have set off a new round in everybody's favorite courthouse whisper game, "Who's flipped?"

Multiple sources this morning say federal agents have arrested Price, who was indicted along with his loyal longtime personal assistant, Daphne Fain, and a powerful Dallas political consultant and friend to the Clinton family, Kathy Nealy. The feds' indictment is below.

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$800 Grand, Sex Extortion, Pit Bull Attacks: No Red Flags Seen at City Hall.

Categories: Schutze

The old HUD cash drawer: If you don't hurry up and grab some, some other less deserving person will steal it.

Late yesterday, just before finally answering my days-old question about it, the city manager sent a memo to the City Council characterizing $800,000 repaid to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as a kind of technical accounting error and no big deal.

Most of it involves money stolen by city employees from a fund intended to help recently released felons with HIV -- about the most helpless, friendless, lost, vulnerable wretches on the face of the Earth. One city employee sentenced to 15 years in prison for it a couple days ago was using the money to set up a love-nest for a woman from whom he was extorting sex. Another one, the person in charge of the program, indicted but not yet tried, was using the money to give an apartment to her relative who was in trouble for setting a pit bull on a person.

The memo from City Manager A.C. Gonzalez is below. You can read it for yourself. I just know too much about how outrageous this really is. For example, another 67 grand the city had to turn back to HUD was money that went to the South Dallas Fair Park Inner City Development Corp. That's the entity run by former City Council member Diane Ragsdale that has been a central player in a saga I have been telling you about for years -- the car wash on MLK in South Dallas that the mayor wants to run out of business so Ragsdale or somebody else can have the property.

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It's a Contest! Photograph Mary Suhm at City Hall and Win a Fabulous* Prize

Categories: Schutze

City Hall needs to look like this next time Mary Suhm shows up.

I wanted you to know that I am still trying to find Mary Suhm at City Hall, and I need your help. Last week I made a movie based on my hunt for the former Dallas city manager, who is rumored still to be lurking somewhere in City Hall. It was a very bad movie.

See also:
My Search for Former City Manager Mary Suhm, Who's Apparently Lost in City Hall

But if you watched that movie all the way through -- and I don't think anyone did -- then you would know that I did not find her. In fact that was the big un-surprise ending.

But there were clues. First of all, if you go back and look at the movie, and frankly I can't recommend it, you might notice several things. When I asked people at City Hall where her new office was, they said she didn't have an office, but they didn't say she wasn't there, except for the one woman who told me she was on vacation.

She's retired. How can she be on vacation? If somebody thinks of her as being on vacation, doesn't that person also think of her as still working there?

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Looks Like Nearly Everybody Is Against the Trinity Toll Road Now. Does that Matter?

Categories: Schutze

Wikipedia Commons
Please refer to above diagram for assistance with metaphors in this item

Reaching for a badly mixed metaphor, I guess I would say those of us personally involved for a long time on the opposition side of the Trinity roll road issue feel right now like we're breathless flies on the wall with our fingers crossed and our dukes up (flies have three sets of extremities, I think).

On the one hand, we never thought we would see this much informed opinion against it. On the other hand, we know how little this project has to do with informed opinion.

We have learned a grudging respect for the advocates. Opinion against them, especially smart opinion, is just another barricade to blast their way through on their way to a goal they have sought for a half century.

May 4, The Dallas Morning News published a letter-to-the-editor from prominent Dallas architect Robert Meckfessel renouncing the plan. An op-ed piece in the paper followed on June 1 from architect Larry Good, saying he, too, was jumping ship. Both Good and Meckfessel had been forceful voices in defense of building a highway along the river near downtown in 2007 when the plan was temporarily threatened by a referendum.

In announcing his own change of mind and heart, Good's tone was almost contrite: "I have changed my mind," he wrote, "and now confess publicly my opposition to building this highway."

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Dallas City Hall Has Repaid $800,000 to HUD in the Last Year, but for What?

Categories: Schutze

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District 14 City Council Member Philip Kingston
WOW. Looks like bigbexardaddy knows whereof he speaks.

Little over a week ago bigbexardaddy commented on an item I had posted here about the Bexar Street boondoggle, giving away a lot of detail that sure sounded like it came from inside City Hall, including a claim that Dallas, even in advance of getting hit with a big HUD judgment in the 1600 Pacific case (that will happen this week) , has already had to pay back "hundreds of thousands" to HUD this year.

Councilman Philip Kingston decided last week to check that out. According to the email exchange, the payback is even bigger than bigbexardaddy suggested. What we don't know: What the hell was it for?

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Perry Will Cement That Strong National Image If He Sends the Guard to the Border

Categories: Schutze

Orval Faubus at Central High School, taking his place in history.

The Austin American-Statesmanand The Houston Chronicle this morning are reporting that Governor Rick Perry will hold a press conference this afternoon to announce he's sending 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexican border to defend Texas against an invasion of unarmed Central American children. This, of course, goes nowhere fast, which Perry already knows.

In spite of the very strong impression Perry created in the rest of the nation in his 2012 presidential bid, most of us here in Texas know that he is not a total idiot. We must assume he or somebody on his staff knows the story of The Little Rock Nine.That means Perry knows where this is headed -- some form of federalization of the guard. The question would be why he wants to go there.

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Why Isn't Clay Jenkins the Headline on the Immigration Story? Guess.

Categories: Schutze

Send me door-to-door to find quotes on how people feel about shelters for immigrant children, I can find this family to interview. Half hour max.

As a lifelong reporter, I can't help looking at the babies-at-the-border story and worry about the way my own craft tends to tilt a narrative like this. And don't think I think I'm Goody Two-Shoes. If anything I know the drill too well.

A front-page story in The New York Times yesterday was called, "Towns Fight to Avoid Taking In Migrant Minors," and included quotes like this one from a 51-year-old volunteer fireman: "That's my tax money taking care of a foreign national or however you want to classify them. I don't want to take care of a foreign national. It's not my problem."

I'm not saying there's anything wrong or illegitimate with that quote. I'm just saying you could dump me out of a car with a notebook and a pencil anywhere from Nome to Key West, and I could spot the dude in the crowd who would give me that quote.

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My Search for Former City Manager Mary Suhm, Who's Apparently Lost in City Hall

Categories: Schutze

"A Note for Mary," a small hat-cam film by Jim Schutze, should be viewed -- and no one's saying it actually should be viewed -- as a cry for help.
Tuesday was a very strange day for me -- an experience I am sharing with you today (or inflicting on you, never quite sure) both here on the blog and also in a short film I made called "A Note for Mary." I made it with my hat-cam, a small camera device that I have used to similar ill effect in the past.

See also:
A Brazen Attack on Jim Schutze's Hat-Cam: Film at 11! No, Wait, Film at Now!

Here's the thing. Since she retired as Dallas' city manager, Mary Suhm has been beyond my reach. It's possible she regards not talking to me as one of the perquisites of her retirement. She may even have that written out somewhere in her contract: "No longer required to return phone calls or emails from Schutze once I am retired."

If I were convinced she was truly and fully retired, I swear I would leave her alone. No, really, I would. I would certainly try. But I'm not convinced.

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