A guilty plea by a former chief investigator with the Dallas County district attorney’s office in a federal bribery case could be the beginning of a broadening investigation of that office while former DA Craig Watkins was in charge, reports the Dallas Morning News. Former investigator Anthony Robinson admitted taking a bribe from Wayne Joseph Sweeney in 2013 to get Sweeney’s failure to register as a sex offender case dismissed. That case was dismissed by Heath Harris, Watkins’ top assistant, a move that former prosecutors say is rare and violates decades of protocol dictating how cases are thrown out.
“What exactly was going on at the district attorney’s office? Was this poor oversight, poor checks and balances, was this DA just duped or is there something more the feds may want to pay attention to?” said Matt Orwig, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. “It could be this is the end of it. But based on my 20 years as a prosecutor and 10 years as a defense attorney, I would lean toward this is not the end of it.” Harris, now a defense attorney running for district attorney, said the case was dismissed because it was bad, not because of any bribe a felon paid to Robinson. Harris said he did not know when he dismissed the case that money had exchanged hands.