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FBI Affidavit Outlines Case Against Price

BJ Austin
Commissioner John Wiley Price in his attorney's office

The attorney for Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price expects a criminal indictment against his client soon after an FBI document, unsealed yesterday, outlined evidence in the case. The details come nearly a year after a raid on the homes of Price and two others.

Billy Ravkind, John Wiley Price’s attorney, says the unsealed FBI affidavit is information he’s waited months to get. The document is part of the government’s court filing to keep more than a quarter-million dollars taken from a safe in Price’s home. FBI agents also raided the homes of Price’s assistant Daphney Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy. The document says Price claims half of the cash in the safe: Daphney Fain claims the rest.

The FBI is saying nothing outside of what’s in the document by FBI Agent Don Sherman.

Fain’s attorney, Tom Mills says his client is just an administrative assistant, and the money was from her small business. He says the FBI affidavit is basically the government’s criminal case.

"I think it’ll largely be what they go to the grand jury at some point and get indictments, or an indictment with different names in it. I think this is where they are in their investigation right now, Mills said. "It looks like they’ve investigated Price and even Daphney back to 1995."

That was a year before Price declared bankruptcy. In the document, FBI agent Don Sherman says Price and Fain hid assets from the bankruptcy court for five years until the case was discharged. The document also alleges that Commissioner Price helped Kathy Nealy get 2 million dollars worth of consulting contracts with companies that had business before the County Commission, including American Airlines and Ross Perot Jr’s Hillwood Development. And, that Nealy made more than $500,000 dollars in payments “in various forms” to Price over the years. Some of that money apparently came from Mayor Mike Rawlings’ campaign. The document says $25,000 went to Nealy for campaign consulting work, and some of it ended up in Price’s account. The Rawlings campaign says it had no idea.

John Wiley Price’s attorney Billy Ravkind has maintained the money in the safe was legitimate business assets. Commissioner Price has denied any wrongdoing. Ravkind calls the affidavit interesting reading, and expects to see the same information in a criminal indictment of his client.

"I wouldn’t think it would be too far in the future," Ravkind said.

The document was unsealed by the court two days after Commissioner Price won a decisive Democratic primary victory over three challengers.


Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.