Dwaine Caraway

Image via City of Dallas

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway Pleads Guilty To Federal Corruption Charges

August 09, 2018 - 9:00 am

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.

"Today is a day of reckoning and reconciliation and a day of victory in fight against public corruption" said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. 

In papers filed in federal court Thursday morning, Caraway admitted he accepted approximately $450,000 in exchange for votes that benefited Force Multiplier Solutions, a school bus camera company at the center of the scandal at Dallas County Schools.

Investigators say Robert Leonard of Force Multiplier Solutions paid almost $3.5 million to Caraway and Rick Sorrells, the former Dallas County Schools Superintendent, in bribes and kickback payments that were used for personal trips, gambling, clothing, campaigns, and more.

Caraway also admitted to hiding that income from the Internal Revenue Service.

Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney says Caraway resigned from the Dallas City Council this morning, effective immediately.

Read more from our media partner NBCDFW.com 

According to the US Attorney, Caraway tried to conceal that he was receiving bribes by setting up shell companies, making up fake loan documents, and made up consulting fees.

Caraway faces up to seven years in federal prison for the guilty plea including a possible six-figure fine, as was well as almost $69,000 owed to the IRS, according to reports.

"We've got to stop the attitude that this is the way it's done in the city of Dallas" said Dallas City Councilman Lee Kleinman. "There are definitely colleagues -- Griggs, Kingston, Medrano -- and they took money from Force Multiplier for their campaign contributions, and we had votes right after that. Campaign contributions are a little bit more 'gray area' about what you're allowed to take and not take, than a straight-up bribe, but it is questionable."

"The city attorney is reviewing local ordinance and state law to see how this impacts the position of a council member" said Kleinman. "It's unfortunate that Mr. Caraway has put himself in that position. He is a friend of mine. But nevertheless, the citizens have to be able to trust their government. They have to trust that we're being transparent, and they have to trust that we're doing things for the right reasons. People need to be held accountable."

Mayor Mike Rawlings released a statement on Facebook with his thoughts on the case:

"I learned this morning of Dwaine Caraway’s guilty plea and resignation, and I have not yet reviewed the public details of the case. Therefore, I will not be making any public comments today beyond this statement.

As we all now know, the corruption at Dallas County Schools extended beyond the confines of that now-shuttered organization. As your mayor, I am saddened by what we learned today about the actions of one of my former colleagues. I am sad for the city, especially the citizens of District 4, and for Mr. Caraway’s friends, family and supporters.

Mr. Caraway championed much good in his time in public service, particularly for the youth of our city. I appreciate that he is admitting his crimes and sparing the city what could have been a drawn-out legal battle.

More than 12,000 people work for the City of Dallas. Almost every one of them serves honorably and ethically -- and never make the news. This city is so much bigger than any one politician who lost his way."