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Moroch Wins DART; McGill Faces Felony Rap

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DALLAS Dallas Area Rapid Transit has awarded advertising duties to Moroch on the heels of a financial scandal involving DART's previous ad agency, officials said.

The DART account, valued at $2.1 million, was assigned to Moroch after a lengthy review that was originally expected to conclude Oct. 1. The review overlapped with the Dallas County District Attorney's investigation of links between incumbent shop McGill Associates and a DART employee.

John McGill, 52, founder of the Dallas agency that bears his name, faces a felony charge of theft by a public servant of over $100,000, according to the DA's office. Prosecutors said McGill and former DART assistant vice president Micah Causey misappropriated $344,000 from September 2002 to July 2004.

McGill posted $25,000 bail before a magistrate last week, authorities said.

Causey was the supervisor in charge of a $4.4 million advertising contract awarded to McGill in 2000.

Prosecutors said McGill agreed to accept payments for work that had not been performed. Causey also created a shell company that received payment from McGill under the guise of being a subcontractor, according to records.

Neither Causey nor McGill could be reached for comment. The status of McGill's agency was unclear. A recording said the agency's phone number was no longer in service.

Some Dallas-area agencies said they decided not to pitch the account because of the controversy. But Moroch executives said they saw the account as attractive, despite the previous problems.

"The ability to help develop communication strategies and to design and produce materials that have a positive impact on the communities we live and work in is exciting and rewarding," said Tom Moroch, founder and chairman of the Dallas-based agency.

Founded in 1981, Moroch is a full-service advertising agency with 27 branch offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. Clients include McDonald's, Midas, Mrs. Baird's, Tia Rosa, Uniden, the U.S. ARMY, Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, New Line Cinema, Sony, DFW International Airport, KTVT-TV CBS 11, KTXA-TV UPN 21, Al Dia and Mattress Giant.