DISD Superintendent Hinojosa testifies at John Wiley Price trial

Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Mike Hinojosa was called to testify in the corruption trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price on Tuesday.

Prosecutors also laid out potentially damaging evidence about thousands of phone calls between Price and the lobbyist who had been giving him money.

Hinojosa was only on the stand for about five minutes and his testimony centered around a request made by price during Hinojosa's previous tenure as superintendent.

Prosecutors asked him about a letter Price had sent to the district in 2007 where he asked DISD to allow a Hillwood Properties industrial development in southern Dallas to get a tax break. The district quickly granted the request.

The superintendent did not stop to talk to reporters outside.

Attorney Nick Oberheiden, who has been following the trial from the courtroom, pointed out the defense did not even try to cross examine the superintendent.

“It was a blitz testimony, less than five minutes, I think jurors take away one simple message, the Commissioner Price contacted the superintendent personally trying to gain a tax advantage for Hillwood

In other testimony, an attorney for the major developer said that they had hired lobbyist Kathy Nealy. During that time, prosecutors say Nealy was writing numerous checks to Price.

Later, an FBI staffer who analyzed thousands of pages of phone records testified that Price and Nealy were in constant communication with each other despite a Dallas rule that prohibited contact during that time between commissioners and lobbyists.

The analysis by the FBI revealed at times the two had 7 to 9 calls every day even on Saturdays and Sundays during no contact periods.

The defense worked to question the way the FBI analyzed the phone records data and also pointed out that they did not have the contents of any of the phone calls.

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