DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The government laid out its case today in the federal corruption trial of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, with the lead investigator taking the stand.
Former FBI agent Don Sherman, now hobbled by a stroke, said the bribery investigation began in 2010, with questionable bank transactions tying Price to political consultant Kathy Nealy and his county staff member, Dapheny Fain.
Sherman testified that Nealy wrote checks to Price totaling "tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands" of dollars.
In return, the government alleges, Nealy sold Price's influence to companies seeking lucrative contracts with the county.
The former agent, who walked slowly to the witness stand with a cane, also said Price "moved money" between himself and a private business owned by Fain, the commissioner's executive assistant.
After getting approval from the FBI's Public Corruption Unit in Washington, Sherman said the government did a "tremendous amount of work" watching Price's home, his cars and his financial transactions.
Sherman described the FBI's first encounter with Fain, saying that, at first, she was "calm and collected."
But when Fain denied any connection between her private business and Price, the former agent said the FBI pressed her, with knowledge that bank records did show a link.
"She became more agitated and resisted in answering our questions," Sherman said of the encounter, which took place in the Dallas County administration building.
He said Fain ended her meeting with the FBI by saying, "You're just trying to trick me."
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