FBI links Price and Dallas Mayor Rawlings' campaign

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on May 31, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 1 at 11:52 AM

DALLAS -- The affidavit filed Thursday in the investigation of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price laid out how the FBI thinks money from Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings election campaign last year made its way to Price and led to Price's valuable endorsement of Rawlings.

Rawlings had little to say to News 8 on June 28, 2011 just after taking office and when the investigation broke into public view about the money his campaign paid to political consultant Kathy Nealy.

At the time Rawlings said, "She was a political consultant."

When asked what exactly Nealy did for the campaign, Rawlings said, "Getting me elected," and declined to comment further.

The FBI affidavit details a chronology of how agents believe Nealy used some of the Rawlings campaign money before the May election.

On April 21 Nealy deposited a $25,000 check from the Rawlings campaign. The next day she writes a $5,000 check to herself.

Then on April 30 Price deposited the check and takes back $2,500 for himself.

The very next day, May 1, Price endorsed Rawlings.

On May 7, the FBI said Price cashes a $1,000 check from Nealy.

The FBI said it believes the timeline shows how Nealy and Price "corruptly conspired" to use their positions for their benefit.

Rawlings' city spokeswoman said he was headed out of town Thursday and unavailable for comment. But his campaign offered a response with more details than offered last year.

It said it hired Nealy as a "grassroots consultant, providing political strategy, message development, phone banks and block walking for the campaign."

The statement went on to say:  "The campaign was not involved, and has no knowledge or information of Ms. Nealy's activities beyond the services expressly listed in her contract. If she was involved in other activities related to the campaign, her involvement was as an independent actor, and not as a representative of the campaign."

With another FBI investigation touching city hall Rawlings may be rethinking his assessment of late June last year when he said "We ran a great campaign, I feel great about it and the whole process worked good."

No has been charged with any crime in this investigation.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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