The Price Trial: Key players

Key players: Price, top; Dapheny Fain, bottom left; Kathy Nealy, bottom right. All have pleaded not guilty.
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On Feb. 21, 2017, jury selection begins in the federal criminal trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and his assistant, Dapheny Fain. The FBI has accused Price of taking bribes, with the help of several of his associates. Here is some background on the key players.

John Wiley Price – Price, 66, of Dallas, is one of the most powerful and influential African American politicians in North Texas. Since being elected as Dallas County’s first black commissioner in 1984, Price has earned the nickname “Our Man Downtown” among his District 3 constituents. Price is known for advocating for minority- and women-owned businesses, and clashing with non-minortity local officials. He founded the annual black cultural festival known as KwanzaaFest.

Dapheny Elaine Fain – Fain, 55, of DeSoto, has been a loyal assistant to Price since 1995 when she became his county secretary. She is vice president of the commissioner’s KwanzaaFest festival, and owns a promotional items business called Male Man Sales, or MMS. The FBI says she used both the festival and her business to launder money for Price. Authorities also say she helped Price hide assets during his bankruptcy. In 2003, Price made a $35,000 down payment on a house in DeSoto for Fain. FBI agents found Price’s $130,000 Bentley in Fain’s garage during the 2011 search. Fain has also worked at Schlumberger oilfield company, Texas Power & Light, EDS Technical Products and the county’s election department.

Kathy Bryant Nealy – Nealy, 64, of Dallas, was once one of the most powerful Democratic political consultants in Texas. She has been a longtime supporter of Price, and received more than $250,000 from Mayor Mike Rawlings campaign in 2012. Nationally, she worked on President Bill Clinton’s re-election efforts. She is close to the descendants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Nealy has been a paid consultant for several high profile business clients, including Schlumberger and others with business before Commissioner Price and the county. According to the FBI, Nealy and Price share bank accounts. Nealy was a witness for the government in the corruption case against former Dallas City Councilman Don Hill, testifying about developers paying for influence with the city. She is currently a senior vice president with 5Linx, a multi-level marketing company and travels the country giving speeches on wealth building. Nealy will get a separate trial from Price and Fain.

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Christian Lloyd Campbell, 47, of Carrollton, is a consultant who befriended Kathy Nealy in 2001. He helped Nealy get hired at the company he was working for at the time, and when he started his own consultant company, he was hired by companies that submitted bids for Dallas County contracts. He then helped Nealy get hired by those same companies – and encouraged them to renew her contract. According to prosecutors, Price would leak Campbell and Nealy information on competing companies’ bids so that they could help their clients submit successful low bids. In 2015, Campbell pleaded guilty, and and is expected to testify for the government.

Karen Lynett Manning, 51, of Dallas, was a close friend of Price who owned an African-themed art gallery called Millennium 2000 at the South Side on Lamar. She held fundraisers, organized by Nealy, at her gallery, court documents show. In 2015, she pleaded guilty to not paying taxes on $258,000 of income consisting mostly of transactions for artwork involving Price. Price, according to the government, bought art pieces with campaign money, and he also gave Manning art pieces for her to sell in her shop. Manning also did business with Dapheny Fain and her company MMS involving Dallas County. Manning is expected to testify for the government.