DALLAS — The former chief investigator for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting a bribe to get a case dropped against a defendant.
Anthony L. Robinson, 53, of Mesquite, admitted taking more than $50,000 from an unnamed defendant in 2013. The bribe payments were disguised, according to prosecutors, as an investment in a cattle business.
The case was dismissed in 2013 under former DA Craig Watkins. Robinson’s plea paperwork does not mention the former DA. Instead, it says “Robinson used his position as chief investigator … to persuade an assistant district attorney to dismiss the criminal charge…”
Robinson’s attorney did not immediately return a message for comment.
Watkins, who is now a personal injury and defense lawyer in private practice, was on vacation Tuesday and could not be reached, according to a receptionist at his office.
Robinson was indicted under seal June 15. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Stickney in Dallas. Robinson faces up to five years in prison and a fine. He is free pending his sentencing Oct. 12. He has agreed to pay back $31,708 in restitution.
The person who allegedly paid the bribe is only described in court documents as “W.S.”
According to court documents, Robinson traveled to Las Vegas on Sept. 13, 2012 to take custody of W.S. and return him to Dallas to face a criminal charge.
On the return trip, according to the indictment, Robinson told W.S. that he wanted to enter the cattle business. W.S. told the chief investigator that he was wealthy and would be willing to entering into business if he could get his case dropped. Robinson agreed, prosecutors said.
On Feb. 28, 2013, Robinson drafted a business proposal saying W.S. would provide an initial investment in the partnership. On March 26, 2013, W.S. deposited $200,000 into a bank account, and Robinson was added as a co-signer the next day. Robinson wrote a $5,000 check to his wife, and ultimately took about $50,000, court documents show.
On May 24, 2013, Robinson got the case dismissed.
On Nov. 4, 2014, Craig Watkins lost the DA’s election to Susan Hawk.