Judge Hears Contempt Charges Against Don Hill, Attorney

Hill, attorney accused of violating judge's gag order before 2009 corruption trial

By Lita Beck
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:04 PM CDT
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Former Councilman Don Hill Back in Court

NBCDFW.com

Former Dallas City Councilman Don Hill enters the courthouse during his 2009 corruption trial.

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Former Councilman Don Hill Back in Court

Convicted former Dallas Councilman Don Hill was back in federal court to face contempt charges for allegedly violating a judge's gag order.
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A former Dallas councilman convicted of corruption charges was back in the courthouse Thursday.

Don Hill was convicted in October on seven counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges for shaking down low-income housing developers.

Hill attended a hearing in federal court to face contempt charges. He and his trial attorney, Ray Jackson, are accused of violating a judge's gag order before Hill's bribery trial began last year.

"I'm not making any comments today; we're going in for a hearing, that's it," Hill said outside the courthouse. "It's good to see everybody again."

If convicted of the contempt charges, Hill and Jackson face six months in jail and fines.

Hill is scheduled to be sentenced next month for the corruption convictions. He faces a maximum of 95 years in prison.

The judge's gag order banned public statements about the case other than matters of public record.

Hill and Jackson granted news interviews WFAA-TV and other media in June, just days before jury selection began. Thursday's contempt trial mainly centered on the television interview.

Ken Carter, a publicist for Hill, testified at the hearing. He helped arrange the TV interview, as well as a prayer vigil before the corruption trial began.

Jackson also testified, saying he made mistakes but denied intentional wrongdoing. His attorney said Jackson did not "do anything intentional" to violate the gag order.

Hill did not testify.

The judge in Thursday's hearing will rule on the contempt charges at a later date.

NBCDFW's Ken Kathloff contributed to this report.

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