Heath Mayor, attorney Ratcliffe quoted by media about Dallas City Hall bribery convictions

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City of Heath Mayor and private attorney, John Ratcliffe, the former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, was involved and quoted by news media early this week at the Dallas City Hall bribery case, where former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, his wife Sheila Farrington Hill and other cohorts were among several people found guilty of a wide range of crimes, including bribery.

After nearly five years of investigation and three months of testimony, 23 guilty verdicts and six not-guilty verdicts were handed down by the jury and read by U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn Monday.

Ratcliffe, who supervised part of the investigation while US Attorney, was quoted by the Dallas Morning News as saying the fact that the jurors delivered a mix of verdicts shows that they didn’t just rush though their work.

“It seems like they considered each charge on its own,” he said.

Click here to read the Dallas Morning News story.

He was quoted by KERA, Dallas public radio and TV, to say that it was not surprizing that none of Hill’s four co-defendants testified.

He said it’s risky to testify and submit to cross examination. He said the government is required by law to prove the case with or without a defendant’s testimony.

“They can put on all sorts of evidence, but none if it is directly from the defendant,” said the Heath Mayor.

“And if you take the stand in your own defense, you give up that advantage. The vast, vast majority of criminal defendants don’t testify on their own behalf.”

Ratcliffe added the outcome of this trial for all defendants depended in large part on Hill’s credibility from the stand. 

Click here to read the KERA story. 

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