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Here Is What James Fantroy Told Me Print E-mail
by Rufus Shaw    Sat, Sep 29, 2007, 08:25 PM

Former City Council member James Fantroy visited with me late Friday night and for two hours he told me his side of the story regarding his impending indictment and the City Hall corruption probe. Let me say upfront, I have known James Fantroy for a number of years. I consider him a serious, no-nonsense businessman who has dedicated a large part of his life to serving the interests of the Black community. I have never known James Fantroy to be frivolous, sensational, or irresponsible in his assessments of political events that impact the Black community. What I am about to tell you is what James Fantroy told me. I am not judging his guilt or innocence. But I believe what he told me.

The first thing Mr. Fantroy asked me is did I think he did the right thing by going to the media with his story. I told him I believe he was correct in taking his story to the press because judging from the number of leaks about this story in the last few months, somebody involved in prosecuting this case has certainly attempted to manipulate the media. For example, I have been told that people who were subpoenaed to testify were told they could not speak to anyone about their testimony or they risked contempt of court charges. Yet, the media now has a list of names of people who were subpoenaed to testify. Without these people being able to explain their role in these proceedings, the implications are that they have done something wrong just by their forced appearance before a grand jury.

I was disappointed to see Morning News columnist, James Ragland’s column on Saturday the 29th where the black columnist criticized Fantroy for comparing the corruption probe and the ensuing fallout to the O J Simpson case. Ragland went on to lampoon Fantroy for playing the race card because Fantroy suggested that racial unrest might result in the mishandling of this highly volatile case. If Ragland had any feel for what is happening in the Black community, he would have known that many Black folks feel that all of the Black City Council members were singled out in the probe and none of the white members. This indicates to us that race might very well be a factor in the motivation for the probe. When I asked Fantroy about the OJ reference, he said he felt that the media circus that surrounded the Simpson case where Black folks took one side and white folks took the other while the media exploited the whole ugly racial mess could very well happen here given the racial implications which are obvious in this case. In my opinion, Fantroy cannot be certain that racial unrest will be a by product of this probe but nor can James Ragland predict that racial unrest will not occur. If I had to bet, I would bet James Fantroy has a far better handle on the potential volatile behavior of the Black community then James Ragland.

The most startling revelation Fantroy told me was about the role political consultant and John Wiley Price confidant, Kathy Neely, played in this investigation. James Fantroy said, "The FBI told me that Kathy worked with them to make the cases against the Black defendants in the probe." Immediately, I wondered what John Wiley Price’s involvement was in the probe since he and Ms. Neely are so close. If Mr. Fantroy’s rendition of Ms. Neely’s involvement is correct, the Price-Neely-Sampson political machine may not be able to survive this.

Fantroy also wondered, as many African-Americans, how Mayor Laura Miller could escape scrutiny in this corruption probe when she received more money from Brian Potashnik and his company then any of the Black City Council members who have been targeted by the probe. Fantroy then said this, "I watched City Councilman Mitchell Rasansky lobby and participate in conversations about projects that his companies had financial interests in only to later say he did not realize he was doing something wrong. I am being accused of doing that exact same thing. But I am about to be indicted while Councilman Rasansky’s actions were never mentioned."

"I believe we (Black folks at city hall) were caught in the middle of a fight between Brain Potashnik and his Southwest Housing Development Company and rival developer James R. "Bill" Fisher." Fantroy said. "What I did, I did for the Black community and my district. The FBI cannot find any instance where I took any money for my vote or my advocacy for any of the projects in question. I have never heard that these projects did anything but benefit my community. That is all I care about. As far as a future trial is concerned, my doctors have told the FBI that a lengthy trail would be a death sentence for me since I have to undergo dialysis treatment 3 times a week."

James Fantroy’s stellar record of service to the Black community is without question. However, none of us can determine the guilt or innocence of Mr. Fantroy without seeing all of the facts. But in his own elegance, he was clear about this (and I am paraphrasing here): Because of the way this FBI probe has been handled, all of the racial ugliness of the O J Simpson trial and the racial ordeal that besieged Jena maybe coming to our town soon. At least that is how I see it from South of the Trinity.

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Comments (14)add comment
written by J Green , October 01, 2007

First, if in fact Mr. Price has thrown a rock and hid his hand it will show he is what many African American believed all along, Mr. Price got power and sold out his own people that once supported him, and marched with him. For years evidence has presented itself that Mr. Price straddles the fence, and while straddling that fence Mr. Price believes that if you are not in his presence you don't know his dirt. Believe me he comes off like "Basken Robbins 31 flavors of different personalities all conning and coniving. As for Kathy Neely, her snitching will come to the fore front and when the pressure ensues she will probadly give up Mr. Price and the Republicans will throw him to the dogs. As for Mr. Ragland, this writer has always viewed him an uncle Tom the brother Clarence Thomas. He has no respect in the African American Community.

written by 2cents , October 01, 2007

yada, yada, yada. Didja see the News 8 report of the checks Fantroy wrote to his family members off the Paul Quinn foundation (or whatever it's called)??

I don't know about the rest of the gang and their charges, but it certainly appears he got caught red-handed with his sticky fingers in the till - stealing from the very folks he was to have helped.

written by JR Smith , October 01, 2007

This reminds me of Richard Nixon's famous uttering, "I am not a crook" and we know how that played out. Very few criminals when caught say "Yep I did it. I'm guilty."

I say let's just sit back and wait for the evidence to be presented.

written by john k. , October 01, 2007

What will be the outcome of this mess? I feel for all concerned. Money is the root of all evil. Some of us have forgotten that old saying. FBI should be ashamed of itself for not bringing this to fruition a year ago. I don't think it will hold water. Kathy may be going to "snitch jail",herself,if what is said is true. Somehow, I think it is with the believer.

written by David McNabb , October 01, 2007

This isn't about evidence and who did wrong..I wouldn't trust a politician by the very definition of the word

this is about who is getting accused and who doesn't get accused... and, regretfully, there is a sorry history of that in Dallas and elsewhere

written by John McCormack , October 01, 2007

So, when does Rev. Sharpton's plane get in. Is Jessie Jackson coming too? Will we top the 15,000 that marched recently in Jena? Is the Red Cross going to come in and feed, hydrate and give medical attention to them as well?

written by HypBuster , October 02, 2007

This story is as weak as it's title.

blah blah blah

written by Right Wing Republican Volunteer , October 02, 2007

1. Accusing the FBI and US Attorney of racism is more than a little silly.

2. Using the race card and dialysis as excuses is disgusting.

3. If what you say about Miller and Rasansky is true (and I have no idea whether it is or not), put them in the slammer too.

4. Castigating Ms. Neely as a "snitch" when she has the temerity to stand up and tell the truth is disgusting and defines a real community problem.

5. Fortunately, "the Black community" includes many men and women of strong character who, hopefully, will replace those few of lesser character who are willing to play the race card or anything else for personal gain.

written by Dwayne Smith , October 02, 2007

Looks like the feds indicted Fantroy only on the Paul Quinn College embezzlement. Pretty hard for him to talk his way out of that one.

written by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , October 02, 2007

When you are involved in the legal system it's not about race, it's about how much information law enforcement has on you for an indictment. Why is it that we use race every time Black people are involved. Do we think it's OK for Black people to do wrong? We want equal opportunity and equal justice goes along with that. Mr. Fantroy is not indicted on the housing scandal, his is the missing money from Paul Quinn. Floyd Richards(yellow cab) white man was on the transplant waiting list near death and went to trial ,served time and back home, illness is no excuse for trial. What
I do not like about the Fed's is they give blanket immunity to people who testify against others. The only way Kathy Nealy could have given information to the government was her involvement in the crime. If a crime was committed every one involved should feel the heat.Chaney,Reese, Nealy and all parties. I pray for all.

written by Jonathan Green , October 02, 2007

This writer believes race is not a issue in this investigation and indictment. Although I admire all parties involved I refer to the old adage "if you take the Pope inside a cave will he get some dirt on him"? 14 individuals indicted for numerous charges ranging from conspiracy, to tax evasion, some where some dirt is on someone. I have no idea on who, but I am certain of this, its going to all play out and the facts will reveal who is guilty of what.

written by JG , October 02, 2007

> Fantroy then said this, "I watched City Councilman Mitchell Rasansky lobby and participate in conversations about projects that his companies had financial interests in only to later say he did not realize he was doing something wrong. I am being accused of doing that exact same thing. But I am about to be indicted while Councilman Rasansky’s actions were never mentioned."

A classic red herring. This is not a relevant argument to Mr. Fantroy's guilt or innocence in the case at hand.

written by Annonymous , October 05, 2007

How can we as people and, most say that we are christian and look down upon Ms. Nealy for telling the truth? How can you tell your children when they are growing up to tell the truth if you look down on others that do? For that matter how can Ms. Nealy tell her children and grand-children to tell the truth if she doesn't model that herself? The black community (as usual) is looking at the wrong side of the picture. If you would have a problem with what Ms. Nealy did, just put yourself in her shoes. Would you lie to federal officials for any of the people involved in these matters? Or a better question would you risk going to jail for any of the people involved in these matters? If you say no, then how can you condem this woman. If you say yes, then you are just lying to yourself.

written by james , October 26, 2011

I'm a private person and I don't express myself very well but here we go,what happened at CITY HALL may be the worst case of a Lynching in Dallas history in a long time (does anyone remember the red court house incident)if only you knew the whole truth about what transpired in this City Hall mess.Was race a factor? Of corse it was, but that's not the only factor. Was there any wrongs committed? yes to a degree, of which these people have and are paying the price for ,but here again not all the players were prescuted, but don't get it wrong, this isn't a arguement for justification regarding the council mens actions, no matter what the reason or intent of the council men in question they may have bent the rules,but they also were, believe it or not victims as well and that fact was perverted by experts to say the least.I don't have any doubts that many want or can't grisp my meaning about that bit of simplicity,you have to know about somethings to understand that,But so many have convinced themself or been persuaded by others to believe that Mr. Fantroy toke money for personal gains, you don't know the COMPLETE TRUTH about that situation.I know this because I have read the news papers , I have read your comments and I have watched the news, Does anyone know what mis-information is,Does anyone remember what the president of PAUL QUINN said on the TV news months before this story broke regarding missing funds and their investigation into the matter.Their is a story to how and why that information was released to the press in itself,this happened way before the City Hall issue.Does anyone remember Mr. Fantroy telling some member of the City Hall that he had his own money and didn't need the support of park city to get elected to the council in so many words and as far as his service to the community, Visit district 8 and you will see the works of the council men who has been ostracized and villinizied by the powers that truely run this city of ours,you will see that these men were doing good works but they were destroyed by the greed of the few and by the fear and anger of those powerful people who begin to misdirecting the public opinion because they felt a tug at the control of this city and the possible future control of the city and so if these council men could prove and show other how to stand up after they stood up to them on some important issues regarding the mayors election , responsibilities and even Executive Airport and so the Old Hat big money players and power brokers of this city felt they need to send a message even at the expense of the rebirth of the district 8 community and I20.Check the growth of SOUTH OAK CLIFF than and now, it has slowed dramatically and Southwest Mall has been placed on hold again as a reminder of who runs this City.What a massive dis-serve it was to beat these men down, I'm right about this you can check the facts and park cities what is the OLD saying: two wrongs don't make a right and SHAME ON YOU. I say: the council men were fighting for the good of a forgotten and mistreated community (you've read about it and seen the mis-treatment of the dis enfranchised of big Cities in other states and what happens to minority communities)I'm telling you that in their travels as representatives of Dallas looking for models to help the communities they represented and served that they were trying to rights some wrongs and injustices against there communities that had been going on for far to long and they only had a short time to get it done. The way they went about it upset some people and it may have been OLD fashioned politics, rigth and wrong but the results were working.You can read what ever you want into that because what's done is done, NOW!But the COUNCIL MEN stood TALL and did what they felt was best for their neglected community and not all of us knew the extent of the circumtances of the fight to improve district 8 but we now know the consequence for the fight he toke upon himself.I wouldn't have done it that way but Mr.Fantroy fought hard and for keeps with what ever was handy and he was OLD SCHOOL FOR REAL. He always told me that Black American in this country have always had to fight for very inche we get and we need to stop begging for our rights. My FATHER LOVED SOUTH OAK CLIFF and DALLAS and he even convinced me into moving back to OAK CLIFF,it's a DAMN SHAME Dallas doesn't LOVE SOUTH OAK CLIFF THE SAME.Believe it or not, HE GAVE IT EVERY THING HE HAD and that's the TRUTH. By the way North Dallas.How can you love one part of your own body more than the other parts,If you have 4 kids how can you love one more than the others. I think there's something dimented in anyone who can.I think you are as Crazy as HELL. J.R.

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