4/9/2019Texas School Bus Camera Bribe Taker Sentenced
Federal judge sentences Dallas, Texas councilman Dwaine Caraway to four years, eight months for taking $450,000 in school bus camera bribes.
Dwaine Caraway, a former powerful member of the Dallas city council, on Friday was sentenced to four years and eight months behind bars for his role in promoting school bus stop arm cameras in Texas. Caraway made impassioned speeches from his position on the council, urging his colleagues to protect the children by allowing a private, for-profit company to send expensive tickets to motorists in the mail. Every word he spoke was paid for by Force Multiplier Solutions (now operating under the name BusPatrol).
"This is the council that made the decision to get the deal implemented in the beginning for the safety of the children," Caraway said in a May 13, 2015, speech rushing approval of the contract. "And I don't want us to lose focus... Delaying it today runs the risk of not having it at all."
The council approved the deal with Force Multiplier with an 11 to 1 vote. Within days of the speech, Force Multiplier CEO Robert Leonard rewarded Caraway with a $5000 check with the word "loan" in the memo field, which Caraway cashed at a liquor store. In total, the councilman pocketed $390,000 in cash that had been laundered through shell companies or disguised as loans. He also took $40,000 in campaign donations and enjoyed all-expense-paid trips to various destination, including Las Vegas, Nevada.
Under a plea agreement, Caraway faced a maximum of seven years behind bars. Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn imposed a little more than half that amount, holding out the possibility that he could serve even less time if he testifies against a fellow former councilman, Carolyn Rena Davis, who was busted taking $40,000 in bribes from a developer who was seeking approval for a $2.5 million housing project loan.
"If the government believes a reduction is appropriate under Rule 35 after Mr. Caraway's testimony, it may file such a motion," Judge Lynn explained.
In addition to the jail time, Caraway must pay back $565,774 in restitution to the state. He will also spend three years on probation after serving out his prison sentence. Even after the corruption scandal was exposed and Dallas County Schools was bankrupted by the camera company, the city renewed its controversial deal with BusPatrol. The rest of the participants in the plot await sentencing.