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DALLAS Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price returned to his home in North Oak Cliff Monday night after it and his offices were swarmed by federal agents executing search warrants.

Price said he plans to return to work on Tuesday morning.

FBI agents dressed in black suits were still going through Price's residence as dusk fell on Monday. They emerged with boxes of files and trash bags filled with belongings, the culmination of a day-long raid that began with agents surprising the Commissioner at his office.

There were individuals there; they were there. I'd been to a meeting, I came in and there were individuals both on the bottom floor and on the second floor, Price told reporters Monday afternoon. They had search warrants.

Besides his county office, agents searched Price's home, his cars, and the Commissioner himself taking his personal cell phone and seizing electronic data and records dating back to 2001.

For 27 years I've been in this office, and this is not the first time I've had to come up against this kind of adversity, Price said with a shrug.

Agents also searched the homes of political consultant Kathy Nealy and Price's top assistant Dapheny Fain, where they found a Bentley luxury sedan inside her garage.

While the Commissioner said he's surprised by it all, Vincent Hall, one of his assistants, hinted that he believes the investigation is racially motivated.

It's real interesting that a rich white woman from Highland Park stands up to say she's been disenfranchised a couple of weeks ago, and all of a sudden everything's just blowing loose, Hall said, referring to Commissioner Maurine Dickey, who recently had a very public blowup at a meeting of Commissioners Court over redistricting.

Sources tell News 8, however, that this investigation has been going on for years.

Dickey told reporters she is ecstatic over the day's developments. I think it's a happy day for Dallas County, she said. It offers hope that there is a higher authority than local people.

Commissioner Dickey said the FBI has spoken to her about this investigation on several occasions.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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