Price's Festival Doesn't Explain Where $930,000 Went

Attorney says Kwanzaafest records given to federal grand jury

By Scott Gordon
|  Wednesday, Jun 29, 2011  |  Updated 10:38 AM CDT
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Kwanzaafest took in more than $1 million in 2009 but the group's tax return did not disclose where most of the money went.

Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

Kwanzaafest took in more than $1 million in 2009 but the group's tax return did not disclose where most of the money went.

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A nonprofit festival founded by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price took in more than $1 million in 2009, but the group’s tax return did not disclose where most of the money went.

FBI agents raided the offices and homes of Price and two of his top aides on Monday.

The FBI has not commented on the focus of its investigation into Price.

But a federal grand jury asked for detailed financial information on the event, called Kwanzaafest, “months ago,” Price’s attorney said Tuesday.

The attorney, Billy Ravkind, said he turned over the information but couldn’t remember if it was subpoenaed or simply requested.

A copy of Kwanzaafest’s 2009 tax return -- the last year publicly available -- shows the event brought in $1,047,764.

The return itemizes a few smaller expenses, including $33,829 for “advertising and promotion.”

But the bulk of the money -- $930,258 -- is listed under the category “all other expenses.”

Ravkind said he never looked at Kwanzaafest’s financial records and can’t explain why so much of the money was not categorized.

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“It’s a nothing deal,” he said.

The attorney said he has instructed Price not to discuss Kwanzaafest or anything else while the FBI is investigating.

“He’s not going to be talking to anybody,” Ravkind said.

Kwanzafest is a yearly festival at Fair Park that celebrates black heritage.

Price’s longtime assistant, Daphne Fain, is listed as Kwanzaa’s president.  Price’s political consultant, Kathy Nealy, is director.

Fain’s home and Nealy’s office were raided by the FBI Monday morning at the same time agents searched Price’s house and office.

Neither woman has commented publicly on the investigation.

Russell Baity, a certified public accountant who signed Kwanzaafest’s tax return, did not return a phone call Tuesday.

NBC DFW sponsored Kwanzafest the past two years but has not been involved in the group’s financing.

NBCDFW's Shane Allen contributed to this report.


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