United States

John Wiley Price Names High-Profile Defense Witnesses in His Corruption Trial

In separate court filing, government lists 150 witnesses and 2,079 exhibits

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price plans to call high-profile witnesses, including big names in business and politics, in his federal corruption trial which is set to start next month.

According to a court filing late Thursday, among the witnesses Price's attorneys plan to call are:

  • David Brown, who will testify about "Price's efforts and performance as a public official," his attorneys wrote. The document does not identify Brown by occupation, but he is presumably the former Dallas police chief. "I did not know that," Brown said. "I don't know why I would be on his witness list since I have no knowledge of this case or county businesss."
  • Kathy Nealy, Price's longtime political consultant, who is charged with funneling nearly $1 million in bribes to the commissioner. Nealy will testify she "never paid Price for any official actions," Price's attorneys wrote. Nealy was indicted with Price, but Judge Barbara Lynn recently granted Nealy a separate trial.
  • H. Ross Perot Jr., the wealthy developer, will testify "his company did not engage Kathy Nealy to bribe Commissioner Price and did not bribe Price or anyone else," according to Price's attorneys. Perot is chairman of Hillwood Development Company, which prosecutors allege wanted to stop development of a proposed inland port in South Dallas.
  • Ron Kirk, the former Dallas mayor and former U.S. Trade Representative, will testify about "Nealy's reputation" as a consultant and lobbyist, Price's attorneys wrote.

Meanwhile, also late Thursday, federal prosecutors filed court papers of their own, listing 2,079 exhibits and 150 witnesses they plan to use.

Prosecutors said their witnesses include Christian Campbell and Karen Manning.

Campbell has testified he worked as a consultant for an Austin company and paid $7,500 to Nealy as a bribe to win a Dallas County contract.

Manning owned a Dallas art gallery through which Price allegedly laundered money.

Both Campbell and Manning have already pleaded guilty and struck deals with prosecutors in exchange for their testimony.

Price was indicted in 2014 after a lengthy FBI investigation into alleged bribery and tax fraud.

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