On Your Dime: Texas Taxpayers Foot Bill for 2nd Defense Lawyer in Commissioner’s Corruption Trial

Commissioner Corruption Probe
Dallas, TX

DALLAS, Texas — John Wiley Price, the high-profile Dallas County Commissioner who was indicted on 11 counts of bribery, corruption, and tax fraud, has been appointed a second taxpayer-funded defense attorney to represent him in federal court.

Federal court records show that US Magistrate Judge Renée Toliver appointed Dallas criminal defense attorney Chris Knox to the case on Thursday, April 9, according to the Dallas Morning News. In March, Toliver appointed Shirley Baccus-Lobel to handle Price’s bribery and tax evasion case.

Price has been poor-mouthing for some time. Breitbart Texas reported that he originally requested public assistance for his corruption trial. He then withdrew the petition in late January under US District Judge Barbara Lynn, who was presiding over the corruption case at that time.

Toliver ruled that Price will have to contribute $80,000 of his own money to his defense. He was ordered to pay $20,000 of that before March 15. Following that payment, he must make $10,000 payments every two months until the balance is paid up. Price also must make $500 monthly payments during his trial, which is currently scheduled to begin in January 2016, according to Toliver’s ruling.

Price is accused of taking $950,000 in bribes over a ten-year period from businesses seeking county contracts or other approvals. He was actually charged with conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, mail fraud, aiding and abetting, conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, and subscribing to a false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax return.

Federal agents seized more than $450,000 from Price in 2011. About half of that was in cash that was located in a safe in his house.  On the day he was arrested, in July, 2014, he had $11,000 cash on him. Unbelievably, he claimed he was cash-strapped when it came to paying for his legal defense.

Price earns $141,236 a year as a county commissioner, owns two homes and an assortment of cars. He continues to claim his innocence.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.