Posted on August 19, 2005

Black Officials in Dallas Call Subpoenas Racially Motivated

Hugh Aynesworth, Washington Times, Aug. 18

DALLAS — An investigation into federally funded low-income housing contracts has touched several black politicians and their aides, causing an uproar in this minority community.

One black City Council member blamed the FBI-led probe on Mayor Laura Miller, who is white, and warned of violent retaliation.

“They’re going to make the Los Angeles riots look like a picnic,” said James Fantroy. “Why is this all just black folks? Why is it when it comes to us, we’re guilty the minute there are accusations?”

No charges have been filed, but Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, council members Leo Chaney Jr. and Maxine Thornton-Reese and City Plan Commission members D’Angelo Lee, Melvin Traylor and Carol Brandon have been named in subpoenas for records confiscated by the FBI. All of those named are black.

At the root of the investigation is the charge that Mr. Lee financially benefited from projects on which he voted as a member of the Plan Commission, and that he solicited other deals. He was appointed to the commission by Mr. Hill.