Complete coverage of the FBI Investigation of John Wiley Price

John Wiley Price Trial Date Postponed Until January 2016

Trial for Price and defendants deemed complex

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The date for a jury trial in the case against longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and three of his co-defendants has been moved to January 19, 2016. (Published Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014)

    The bribery conspiracy trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and three co-defendants is now set for January 19, 2016.

    Lawyers on both sides of the case asked for the delay because of the mountain of complex evidence involved in the accusations that date back more than a decade.

    The motion requested the previous court date of September 29, 2014 be moved to a date on or after September 2015.

    Price was arrested July 25 and charged with taking $950,000 in bribes in what prosecutors say was a scheme to use his position on the commissioner's court to enrich himself.

    The trial date order from federal court came Tuesday, after fellow members on the commissioner's court refused to suspend Price from office with pay pending trial.

    Price sat silently throughout the discussion, but Price supporters in the room cheered when the motion to suspend him failed.

    Lone Republican Commissioner Mike Cantrell made the motion which died without a vote for lack of a second from any of the four Democratic commissioners.

    Cantrell argued county employees have been fired for far less serious accusations.

    "But now this court is saying those rules don't apply to us. We're elected officials. We're above that, and that's exactly what I see. I'm ashamed of this Court and how they replied to that resolution," Cantrell said.

    Democratic Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said state law carries a strong burden of proof to suspend Price.

    Jenkins turned the table on Cantrell after the meeting, challenging Cantrell to file his own lawsuit to remove Price.

    Jenkins said the other two commissioners are relative newcomers while Cantrell has served with Price for 20 years.

    "Commissioner Cantrell is in a unique and advantaged position to have knowledge of relevant facts. If Commissioner Cantrell is in possession of relevant facts not publicly known, he has a duty to disclose it and to act," Jenkins said.

    Cantrell fired back that Jenkins was avoiding the issue.

    "It's failure of leadership. It's defer, deflect," said Cantrell.

    Cantrell said it could cost a private citizen $150,000 to post the bond required to file a case and that he knows nothing more about the accusations facing Price than he has read in the federal indictment.

    "I think the FBI was very clear," Cantrell said. "No member of this court knew what was going on, in that Commissioner Price allegedly hid it from the court members."

    Jenkins said the county would not block a private lawsuit to remove Price.

    "This is not to be interpreted as the county's reluctance to act. If a person has that knowledge, come forward and we'll cooperate fully in the discovery process with you," Jenkins said.

    Price and all the other defendants in the federal case pleaded not guilty after their arrest when the indictment was unsealed last month.