DALLAS - Sweeping new rules are now in place for how Dallas County does business in response to the accusations leveled against Commissioner John Wiley Price.
During his public corruption trial on Friday, we learned of a new alleged ethics violation.
Price and, at times, county employees sent secret documents to Kathy Nealy so she could share with companies she worked for, which is against county rules. On Friday, we learned the commissioner himself met with at least one company that wanted a county contract when he shouldn’t have.
It was the promise of millions in IT contracts that pulled Unisys into the county bidding process. The corporation tried twice and even got insider information through a third party from Kathy Nealy.
Price allegedly met with Unisys during a window where commissioners and county employees are to have no contact in the bidding process.
Former Unisys Rep Katherine Connolly testified Unisys had first been told they had won the contract.
She said, “I was confused, embarrassed. I just blabbed to everybody we won. I was struck twice by lighting. It brings back some pretty emotional moments for me."
Nick Oberheiden, who in not connected to the case, says while Connolly's testimony showed price violated county rules, the spoils of a county contract did not come her way.
“Two times, she lost a contract even though she first was considered the winner or her company,” he said. “But despite the influence and despite the involvement of Miss Nealy, two times she was overturned and ultimately her company lost the contract.
The foreign trade zone, which ultimately brought jobs and development to southern Dallas County, was held up almost a year because of Price. That testimony came from a former vice president of a company involved in creating the trade zone.
Rob Huthnance testified the project was delayed because Hillwood Development, a Ross Perot company with Kathy Nealy as a consultant, had land in Desoto that was not initially included in the trade zone.
But other testimony showed Desoto was primed for the trade zone and should have been included at the onset.
Week three of the trial begins on Monday at 8:30 a.m.