Lawyer in Dallas County constable investigation dies; swine flu suspected

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by By AVI SELK / The Dallas Morning News

wfaa.com

Posted on October 26, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 12 at 12:04 PM

DALLAS - Sidney H. Davis Jr., the attorney who was advising the Dallas County Commissioners Court about an investigation into the constable' office, died Monday morning.

"It was a punch in the belly," said Peggy Lundy, senior adviser to County Judge Jim Foster.

Davis was 54. Lundy said he contracted the swine flu and slipped into a coma last week, and died of pneumonia this morning. Dallas County health officials confirmed that a 54-year-old man had died of the swine flu but declined to provide additional details, citing patient privacy.

Saying he was "devastated" by the news, Judge Foster confirmed the diagnosis of Davis' death linked to the H1N1 flu virus in a statement issued Monday afternoon.

"My heart goes out to his wife, Linda, and three children who are obviously overwhelmed by this sudden loss," Foster said.

Davis' family could not be reached for comment.

The court voted last month to hire Davis to advise it about an investigation it had ordered of constables Derick Evans and Jaime Cortes, who have been accused of forcing employees to sell raffle tickets for their re-election campaigns and to work unpaid security details.

The hiring was strenuously objected to by District Attorney Craig Watkins, who said the court did not have the authority to hire an outside attorney. The court, in turn, accused Watkins of "sandbagging" the investigation, which is being led by former FBI agent Danny Defenbaugh.

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