The Price Trial: How did we get here?
Based on government documents, court records and WFAA research, here's a look at how Price, his political consultant Kathy Nealy, and his assistant Dapheny Fain ended up charged with federal crimes. Each has pleaded not guity.
1984 – John Wiley Price is the first African American elected as a Dallas County commissioner.
1985 - Kathy Nealy, a political consultant, becomes campaign manager for Price
1995 - Price opens an account at a Forney bank in his mother's name. She already has a checking account of her own.
1996 - Price files for bankruptcy under the name John Wiley Price III, which the FBI says is not his name. He declares assets of $339,000.
May 11, 2001 – Price’s bankruptcy is closed. He has $372,000 in debts wiped away. He retained a house at 406 E. Fifth Street, watches, African art, life insurance, retirement plan and a 1948 Pontiac.
May 23, 2001 – Price opened a Dallas Telco checking account with $64,000 in an initial deposit. Fain was a co-signer.
2002 – Price voted to make Schlumberger the county’s IT service provider. Nealy received about $250,000 from the company through a consulting contract, and shared the money with Price, according to the FBI.
2004 – FBI begins its investigation of Dallas City Councilman Don Hill, who is accused of taking bribes from low-income housing developers in exchange for Hill's vote on the city council. Kathy Nealy has clients caught up in the investigation.
2005 - FBI agents go public with the Don Hill investigation, searching his city hall office and other locations.
2007 – Councilman Hill and others are charged in a huge corruption probe. Nealy, who took part in some of the deals in question, cooperates with the government and is not indicted.
2008 – Price wins reelection, getting 148,000 votes.
2009 – After spending many hours with FBI agents as a cooperating witness, Kathy Nealy testifies against Hill at his federal corruption trial. She reveals pay-for-play schemes at City Hall. Prosecutors tell U.S. District Barbara Lynn that she need not counsel Nealy on her Fifth Amendment right not to say anything that could incriminate her, because she will not be prosecuted in the case. It’s unclear at the time if that means she won’t be prosecuted in any future case.
2010 – Hill and his wife are sentenced to prison, along with others convicted in the case.
June 27, 2011 – FBI agents search Price’s home and office, the home and office of Kathy Nealy and Fain’s DeSoto home. Agents find Price’s safe full of cash and valuables. Warrants say agents are seeking evidence of money laundering and corruption from 2001 to present.
Sept. 27, 2011 – Price files paperwork claiming roughly half, $115,000, of the money found in his safe. Price said he was merely a “custodian” of the other half of the cash, which he said belonged to Fain.
March 26, 2012 – U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas files a civil forfeiture lawsuit seeking to keep money found in Price’s house during the search.
May 31, 2012 – U.S. Attorney’s office unseals FBI affidavit outlining the Price investigation. It alleges Price hid assets in the mid-1990s to shield them from bankruptcy; took bribes from companies with business before the county and laundered hundreds of thousands of dollars through Nealy, Fain and others.
Nov. 6, 2012 – Price is re-elected with 71 percent of the vote (137,000 votes) over his Republican opponent.
2013 – A federal judge puts the forfeiture case on hold “until the conclusion of the parallel criminal investigation and any related criminal case.”
July 23, 2014 – U.S. Attorney’s office unseals 107-page indictment of Price, Fain, Nealy and Christian Campbell, a technology consultant accused of working to help funnel bribes to Price.
July 1, 2015 – Christian Campbell pleads guilty, agrees to testify for the government.
Jan. 22, 2016 – Computer executive Helena Tantillo is convicted by an Austin federal jury of lying to FBI agents investigating Price and his business dealings. In 2004, Tantillo hired Nealy and Campbell to work for her company, BearingPoint, which was seeking a multimillion dollar Dallas County technology contract. When it was clear the company couldn’t get the contract on its own, Campbell testified, Tantillo funneled several thousand dollars to Price through Nealy. BearingPoint subsequently won the contract. In April, Tantillo is sentenced to six months in prison.
Nov. 8, 2016 – Price easily wins re-election for the 9th time, getting 131,670 votes, or 67.4 percent.
Jan. 3, 2017 – U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn orders a separate trial for Nealy over questions about whether she has government immunity because of her extensive cooperation in the Don Hill case as well as the Price investigation.
Feb. 21, 2017 – Jury selection begins in the trial of Price and Fain. The trial is expected to last until summer.
Read the FBI affidavit overview of the Price case: