A defense lawyer in the corruption investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price says it’s hard to keep quiet. But that’s just what he’s ordering his client to do.
Tom Mills represents Dapheny Fain, executive assistant to Commissioner Price. He says he’s advised her not to respond in any way to the allegations against her in an FBI affidavit made public last week.
“She’s terribly distraught,” Mills said. “Anybody would be. She thinks a lot of things that are included in the affidavit, or said before, are not true. Or that they’re completely out of context.”
The FBI document alleges that Fain used her company MMS – a novelty and t-shirt company -- to “generate and conceal income for Price.” It also said Fain and Price conspired to hide assets belonging to Price from bankruptcy court for five years until the case was discharged.
FBI agents raided the homes of Price, Fain and political consultant Kathy Nealy in June. Last week, the amount of cash taken from a safe in Price’s house was revealed: $229,000. Price, in court papers, claims half of it; Fain claims the rest. Prosecutors claim the money is part of a criminal enterprise and the government should keep it.
Tom Mills says the investigators are working a very long paper trail.
“They’re looking at almost 20 years, since 1995 the affidavit starts, Mills said. “There will be a reference to a check in some year, and how many t-shirts did you print for KwanzaaFest that year? How did you make so much money?”
Mills says there’s no way to answer that until the government returns financial records seized. And he says they don’t have to do that until after an indictment is issued, which Mills expects.
“I think they’ve been investigating Price in one way or another for decades. And there apparently hasn’t been anything until they think there is now,” Mills said.
Mills says he has no “gut feeling” about when an actual indictment may be returned, or if there will be more allegations and names on it than spelled out in last week’s document.
Tuesday is the first Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting since the affidavit with the allegations was made public.