DALLAS - Attorneys for Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and his co-defendant Daphney Fain called their first witnesses today in the public corruption trial.
The defense was trying to show no rules were violated and also had their own expert dissect the government's analysis of nearly two decades of accounts.
The defense's first witness, Gordon Hikel, is currently an assistant county administrator. Hikel told jurors he sees commissioner price regularly but has not spoken to him about the case.
Through his testimony, defense attorneys tried to show there were no confidentiality violations with price communicating information to former political consultant Kathy Nealy -- who was working with vendors to get them county contracts.
Attorney Chrysta Castaneda is following the trial.
“The government has an email where Mr. Price forwards some information or receives some information that's supposed to be confidential, that apparently Ms. Nealy's clients ended up with before anybody else did. What the defense proved today was that email contained information that was published to the open commissioner’s court that same day, so that it wasn't confidential at all,” Castaneda said.
Price's defense team also called Chris Dellinges, a CPA on their payroll who specializes in forensic accounting. He told jurors he'd compiled as complete a record as possible of the last 15 to 16 years of transactions between Price and Fain.
Dellinges testified the government not only excluded 58 transactions, but its calculations were done inaccurately.
Castaneda says going forward the defense will likely continue to try to produce evidence showing the government didn't do its work correctly and that any payments price may have received were in reality much smaller than the government contends.