On Thursday, a Democrat who is the second-highest-ranking elected official in Dallas pled guilty to taking over $450,000 in kickbacks and bribes.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced that Dwaine Caraway, Dallas city council member and mayor pro tem, received funds “in the form of a phony consulting agreement, luxury suits, fully funded trips, gambling money, repayment of personal debt, checks and cash” from businessman Robert Leonard.
Caraway reportedly supported “key votes to promote and continue” a program putting cameras on school buses; that program was connected to Leonard, who owned the stop-arm camera company that took millions from the Dallas County Schools, as the Dallas Morning News reported. Cox also stated that Leonard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
Cox stated, “The pleas today represent the meticulous and tireless efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the dedicated prosecutors of our office. These cases demonstrate our continued resolve to uncover corruption at the highest levels — the citizens of Dallas deserve honest government.”
Caraway resigned from his post on the council. In his resignation letter he stated, “Over the past several weeks, through a lot of prayer and soul searching, I have decided that I must take responsibility for my actions. I have dedicated much of my life to serving others, but have never claimed to be without sin. I am truly sorry that I must end my career as an elected official because I betrayed the public’s trust that I worked so very hard to earn.”