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Co-Defendant In John Wiley Price Corruption Case Pleads Guilty To Bribery Charge

BJ Austin
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was indicted last summer.

A co-defendant in the federal corruption case involving Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price pleaded guilty to a bribery charge Wednesday morning.

The guilty plea will help prosecutors as they prepare their corruption case against the commissioner.

Christian Lloyd Campbell, a business consultant, pleaded guilty on one bribery count in federal court. Court documents describe it as one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits.

Campbell's attorney had no comment after the hearing, held at the Earle Cabell Federal Building in downtown Dallas.

In return for the guilty plea, Campbell would get a maximum sentence of three years if he goes to prison.

Campbell's sentencing  is scheduled for Oct. 21. 

Billy Ravkind, an attorney who had been representing Price but is no longer involved in the corruption case, told KERA about Campbell's plea: "I figured that this guy was going to roll over when I first heard his name."

Price, the longtime county commissioner, was indicted last summer – he’s accused of taking nearly $1 million in bribes from companies wanting to do business with Dallas County.

Also charged in the indictment: Price’s longtime assistant, as well as a political consultant.

A trial is set for January.

Second guilty plea Wednesday

The U.S. Attorney’s office also announced that a second person pleaded guilty Wednesday involving the Price corruption manner.

Karen Manning, a Dallas art gallery owner, pleaded guilty to a count of filing a false tax return.

She was not listed as a co-defendant in last summer’s indictment. She worked with Price to sell his African art.

Court documents filed Wednesday show that Manning says that from 2008 through 2011, she falsely reported her gross receipts and sales for her Millennium 2000 gallery business.

Millennium 2000 did business with Dallas County by providing promotional items or catering services for the county or county judges.

“There were occasions when Dapheny Fain [Price’s assistant] approached Manning to use Millennium 2000 in place of Fain and/or MMS (a company owned and operated by Fain) for work with Dallas County,” court documents say. “Examples of when this occurred were the purchase of pins for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and shirts for Dallas County employees. On these occasions, Millennium 2000 was listed as the vendor with Dallas County, but Fain and MMS were actually doing the sales.”

Court documents outline the false reports on tax returns. For the 2007 tax year, Manning reported Millennium 2000 had gross receipts of $54,006 when the gross receipts were actually $179,922. For the 2008 tax year, she reported $46,549 in gross receipts -- it was actually $331,078. In 2009, the discrepancy was about $100,000. In 2010, the difference was nearly $80,000. 

Read the Campbell plea agreement

Christian Lloyd Campbell Plea Agreement In John Wiley Price Corruption Case in Dallas County

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.