Appeal Hearing Set in Hill Corruption Case

Former Dallas council member Don Hill, who was described as "the kingpin" of a city hall corruption scandal, is asking for a new trial.

Hill hopes an appeals court in New Orleans will give him a second chance at freedom.

Throughout the 2009 trial, Hill denied any wrongdoing during his time at Dallas City Hall. Hill's attorney filed for an appeal right after his conviction, saying jurors didn't get to hear all the evidence.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will have a hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday to decide whether to take the case.

Hill has been serving an 18 year prison sentence since a jury found him guilty of a bribery and extortion scheme while he was in office. The scheme gave Hill hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers in bribes to help get approvals for low-incoming housing projects.

Federal agents raided Hill’s home and office and tapped his phone.  Jurors heard hours of conversations between Hill and then mistress – now wife – Sheila Farrington Hill talking about how he needed money.

Sheila Farrington Hill was also involved in the scheme, and is serving nine years for helping to launder money.

Both have defended their innocence.

"I know in my heart, we didn't have a corrupt intent," Don Hill said on Oct. 5, 2009. "That's why you're not going to see tears or anger or bitterness."

"My husband and I are innocent, we're not guilty of what we're being charged of," Sheila Farrington Hill said in Oct. 2009. "To have a guilty verdict is not justice being served."

The appeal includes Hill, his wife, and former Dallas Plan Commissioner D'Angelo Lee. The hearing is set for 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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