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Parsing That Long John Wiley Price Story

As Cristina mentioned in Leading Off, on Sunday the Morning News published a lengthy story about the FBI’s investigation of John Wiley Price. I can’t figure it out. Because almost none of it is new. After the FBI raids in the summer of 2011, the paper did a great job piecing together what the feds were looking for and all the curious financial matters concerning price: the land deals, the bankruptcy, the expensive cars, the cash in the safe. The story we got Sunday is just a rehash of all that, with one small addition:

A recent flurry of new subpoenas in the case makes some attorneys anticipate indictments.

“I haven’t known of this amount of activity since right after the search warrants were issued,” said Tom Mills, a Dallas defense attorney who represents Dapheny Fain, Price’s longtime executive assistant.

Fain is among those accused of participating in a criminal conspiracy with Price.

Mills said that several of Fain’s relatives were interviewed by the FBI and testified before a grand jury in late March. Mills said that he’s been told that other people have also been subpoenaed, but he doesn’t know who.

“Basically, what it means is that they’re going to take some action soon,” Mills said, referring to federal prosecutors. “But if pressed, I couldn’t say what soon is.”

That’s it. Just 125 words of new material in a 2,270-word story. Some people have recently been subpoenaed. One attorney says something might happen soon. Or soonish. Now that is interesting news. But is it worth a front-page Sunday story of that length? No, it’s not.

I heard not long ago from someone in a position to gossip about such matters that this case was about to get moving again in a public way. The only thing I can figure is that folks at the paper are hearing the same thing, and this is how they decided to respond. I don’t know, though. Why publish early, ahead of the news? If you thought something was about to happen, why not get this background material ready and then just put your go bag by the back door? Like I say, I can’t figure it out.