Dallas County prosecutors respond to criticism from Austin

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 3:15 AM

There was reaction Wednesday to a News 8 investigation from the Dallas District Attorney's office, and the DA's case against a Dallas dentist.

On Tuesday, we reported Dallas dentist Richard Malouf was the target of a Medicaid fraud investigation that District Attorney Craig Watkins settled for $46,000.

The Texas Attorney General's office then criticized the settlement, calling it a "sweetheart deal" between Malouf and Watkins.

Three asisstant DA's fired back on Wednesday, telling News 8 they made the best of a case that was dormant for years. They said they work with investigators from the Attorney General's office every day.

"It went to the federal government, then it got to the district attorney's office," Dallas County prosecutor Rocky Jones said.

"Members of the Attorney General's office were here this week, and when you infer we have mishandled the Malouf case, we take exception to that," added Heath Harris, another prosecutor in Watkins' office.

"I beleive we have a great relationship with the Medicaid fraud control unit," said another assistant district attorney, Donna Stritmatter. "We have always been an open door to them."

The Dallas County DA's office maintains the comments from Austin were politically motivated.

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