Posted on February 16, 2011

John Wiley Price Tells Citizens to “Go to Hell”

Kent Chapline & Bud Gillett,, February 15, 2011

Tuesday’s Dallas County Commissioner’s Court meeting erupted into an argument between Commissioner John Wiley Price and a citizen, ending with Price repeatedly telling several citizens to “go to hell.”


Six citizens addressed the court. All of them talked about the recent controversial departure of county Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet. Sherbet, who was the Elections Administrator for 24 years, said he felt Price and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins forced him out.

The last public speaker at Tuesday’s meeting, Jeff Turner, began by stating that he would refer to “a certain member of the court”–Price–as “the Chief Mulllah of Dallas County.”


As Turner spoke, he continued to call Price “Chief Mulllah.” Price interrupted Turner several times, yelling at him, “don’t call me Chief Mulllah” and “call me by my name.”

{snip} Turner continued speaking, ignoring Price’s ongoing interruptions.

At that point, Jenkins adjourned the meeting.

As Price stood to leave, he looked at Turner and the five other citizens who addressed the court. Price said to them, “All of you are white. Go to hell!”

Price repeated “go to hell” three more times. An unknown member of the audience said, “You should be ashamed!”

“I’m not ashamed!” Price answered. “I’m not ashamed! Go to hell!”

Jenkins, Price and the other commissioners then left the courtroom to hold individual private meetings with constituents and others, which they traditionally do following the meeting of the entire court.


Turner left the commissioner’s court immediately following the meeting.

At 3:00pm Commissioner Price spoke with 1080 KRLD to explain why he chose to use the words he did.

Later in the afternoon, Price released a written statement about the episode in commissioners court. It contains offensive language. Here is Price’s statement, published in its entirety exactly as he sent it to us:


I have been patient and accommodating in every regard as it pertains to the recent resignation of a Dallas County employee. {snip}

However, in open court today, after every considerate attempt to discuss the matter further, one of the speakers shot off a racial slur. “Chief Moolah” has its roots in a slang that was used against Italian immigrants and was later used by the same to defame or discredit African Americans. The speaker continued to use terms like “tribal” and his intent to make race an issue was obvious. “Nigger” is “Nigger,” spoken overtly or incognito.

My history and record will reflect that I am one whose tolerance is limited or non-existent when it comes to racial slurs. The comments were bad enough, but to have them hurled by a member of the Tea Party, known for their racial insensitivity, was more than I plan to absorb.


CBS 11 caught up with Price Tuesday night at an event featuring filmmaker Spike Lee. Price continued to say he was frustrated on how the media was covering his statement, but said his statement was not an apology.

[There are several videos involving this incident that can be reviewed at the original story.]