Net Tightens Around|Dallas County Official

     DALLAS (CN) – In a blow to embattled Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, a co-defendant in a massive criminal bribery case will plead guilty and cooperate with federal prosecutors.
     Political consultant Christian Campbell agreed to plead guilty to bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, according to a factual resume filed Tuesday evening.
     Campbell was charged in July 2014 along with Price, political consultant Kathy Nealy and Price chief of staff Dapheny Fain.
     Price is accused of taking more than $950,000 in cash , cars and real estate for supporting bids on lucrative county contracts.
     Federal prosecutors will recommend a 3-year prison sentence in exchange for Campbell’s guilty plea and cooperation.
     Campbell said he knowingly and willfully joined a conspiracy with Nealy and Price, among others, to “corruptly provide benefits to Price” in violation of federal law. He said that when he opened his own consulting business, he “realized that Nealy exerted improper influence over Price” by paying Price for supporting her clients.
     “Demands from Nealy were the same as demands from Price, and included Nealy’s repeated contract renewals, success fees, the hiring or promoting of certain individuals, and using certain minority subcontractors for other bids,” the factual resume states. “Campbell understood that paying Nealy and acceding to her demands literally bought influence with Price.”
     Campbell’s plea comes one week after a federal grand jury indicted a former BearingPoint executive of lying to investigators during the FBI investigation of Price .
     Helene Tantillo, 58, of Austin, was charged two counts of making a false statement to law enforcement.
     BearingPoint had bid on the county’s multimillion-dollar contract to digitize its records. Federal prosecutors say a county selection committee recommended rejecting the bid, but Price persuaded it otherwise and then voted for the bid.
     Tantillo “stated she could not recall the reason” that Campbell received a $5,000 consultancy pay hike for two months, according to her indictment. When she was interviewed again, she said it was for a charitable donation to “curry favor with another Dallas County Commissioner,” in violation of company policy.
     Campbell said he supported using Nealy in BearingPoint’s bid to provide marketing services, but “in actuality to obtain the fruits of her improper influence” over Price.
     “Campbell and Tantillo agreed to increase Campbell’s monthly payments by temporarily amending his Business B consulting contract and having him pay Nealy, realizing that Nealy would provide something of value to Price in exchange for Price’s support,” the factual resume states.
     Campbell said Nealy provided him confidential information obtained from Price that gave BearingPoint a “competitive advantage” in the bidding process, including two confidential county memos regarding the four finalist bids.
     Price is accused of accepting more than $447,000 in cash bribes, a new Chevrolet Avalanche every four years and a BMW 645Ci convertible that cost $191,000 to buy and insure.
     Nealy is accused of “secretly funneling” more than $198,000 in real estate to Price, who allegedly served as a straw purchaser.

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