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The New York Times

The New York Times

NATIONAL DESK

Inquiry Touches Dallas Officials
By ERIC O’KEEFE
Published: June 22, 2005

DALLAS, June 21 – F.B.I. agents have searched the house and two offices of the mayor pro tem and two other businesses in an investigation whose subject was not disclosed.

On Tuesday morning, agents searched the house of Councilman Donald W. Hill, mayor pro tem. On Monday, agents searched Mr. Hill's office at City Hall, spending three hours examining documents and e-mail messages and taking photographs. Another team searched his law office at Burt Barr & Associates on Monday afternoon.

A search warrant was also executed at J. L. Security and Investigations, owned by the family of Councilman James L. Fantroy. Mr. Fantroy's office at City Hall has not been searched. The authorities also searched the office of Southwest Housing Development, which builds and manages apartments.

Special Agent Lori Bailey of the Federal Bureau of Investigation office here said the searches were among "numerous warrants served in furtherance of one investigation." With all warrants under seal, Ms. Bailey refused to say whether any officials were being investigated.

Mayor Laura Miller, who was not in her office when the team arrived on Monday, said the investigation had a shocking effect.

"Anytime something like that happens, it's like having a hand grenade go off in City Hall," Mayor Miller said. "It's very sad for everyone involved: the council members, their staffs, city employees, and the families of those being investigated."

She asked the investigators to proceed quickly.

Mr. Hill and Mr. Fantroy told The Dallas Morning News that they did nothing wrong and did not know what the investigation involved.

Mr. Hill, a lawyer who specializes in labor, was elected to the Council in June 1999 and has been re-elected three times. Mr. Fantroy won his seat in a special election in May 2000 and also was re-elected three times.

Southwest Housing Development manages 9,000 apartments in Texas and Colorado, its Web site says. The company specializes in apartments for older people and low- to moderate-income families.