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Opening Statements Today In John Wiley Price Corruption Trial

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The federal corruption trial of longtime Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price resumed this morning.

Today marks day two of the trial. The majority of the day was expected to be spent with lawyers presenting their opening arguments, but things are moving quicker than first thought.

Prosecutors were first up to present their opening statements, which had one major theme -- follow the money! Prosecutors told jurors that the proof is in the paper trail.

Price makes about $100,000 a year. But prosecutor Nick Bunch told the jury that his bank account showed nearly double his salary every month. Bunch said when it came to taxes Price only claimed his work salary as income and on average received a yearly income tax refund of about $8,000.

The prosecution closed, after just 45 minutes, by saying their evidence will clearly point to all the greed, corruption and lies.

Defense attorneys began their case with claims that accusations by the prosecution were outside the statute of limitations.

Lawyers called some of the bribe accusations "preposterous" and claimed that the money Price received from lobbyist Kathy Neely as payback for help he'd given her.

Attorneys called Price the "hardest working public official in Dallas," but also said he has a fondness for women and that they weren't "going to hide that."

Prosecutors allege Price received $950,000 in cash, vehicles and real estate purchases, in exchange for his commissioner's court vote in favor of business operators.

Price, the longest serving elected official in Dallas County, is charged with bribery, mail fraud and tax evasion and his assistant Dapheny Fain is accused of helping him. She is standing trial alongside him.

The 107-page indictment against Price and Fain was read Thursday.

The trial was delayed on opening day after a juror was sent to the hospital and ultimately dismissed from duty. The four alternate jurors for the case are now down to three. Last week the panel of 10 women and five men were told the trial could take four months.

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