Maybe with everything going on in 2020, you may have had trouble keeping track of all the big corruption stories that broke this year in Dallas. It started early in the year, on January 31st, the Dallas Morning News published an article about former Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway taking bribes. In it they say:
“Attorneys representing housing developer Ruel Hamilton allege the federal government paid former Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway more than $20,000 in ‘bribe money’ while he was in office and running for reelection. Court documents filed Friday allege that undercover FBI agents posing as housing developers contacted Caraway in July 2016 and, shortly thereafter, began ‘paying him in exchange for his promise to help them with real estate development in his district once he was elected.’ ”
Then, on August 6th the Dallas Morning News released an article about Devin Hall, another Dallas-based developer who paid off another former council member, Carolyn Davis. In it they say:
“A Dallas developer has admitted to paying bribes to a former city councilwoman in exchange for her lobbying efforts and votes to provide $650,000 in taxpayer money for his Fair Park apartment project, the U.S. attorney’s office said Thursday. Devin Hall, 44, pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to commit bribery of an agent of local government receiving federal benefits, authorities said. Hall acknowledged that between 2013 and 2015, he paid Carolyn Davis, then a Dallas city councilwoman who chaired the city’s Housing Committee, at least $8,000 to ‘use her political influence to further his real estate projects,’ federal authorities said.”
Then lastly, yet another developer, Sherman Roberts, allegedly bribed both the aforementioned Dwaine Caraway and Carolyn Davis in yet another scandal according to a D Magazine article published on December 17th. In it they say:
“Southern Dallas developer Sherman Roberts has been federally indicted for attempting to bribe two former city council members over a five-year period in return for votes that landed a low-income housing development nearly $2 million in loans and grants. Roberts, the CEO of the low-income housing development company City Wide Community Development Corp., is charged with two federal bribery counts, one for a project receiving federal funds and another for a local government receiving federal funds. He has not entered a plea and could not be reached for comment. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday. It does not name the council members, but one appears to be the late Carolyn Davis, who was chair of the city’s Housing Committee at the time of one of the alleged bribes. She was killed in July 2019 by a drunken driver after pleading guilty to accepting bribes from another developer. The other alleged bribe recipient appears to be former District 4 Councilman Dwaine Caraway, who is serving a 56-month sentence for accepting bribes for his vote on another contract. His attorney, Michael Payma, said he had not seen Roberts’ indictment and was ‘not in a position to comment.’ But the indictment quotes Davis speaking to a Council Member B, referencing a project ‘in your district.’ That district in 2018 would have been District 4, which was Caraway’s.”
The language of the D Magazine article should be noted. The article doesn’t explicitly name Dwaine Caraway and Carolyn Davis, it simply says that they “appear to” be the former council members, and in some other article pertaining to the Sherman Roberts case, they don’t explicitly name the council members involved either. It seems that Dallas developers and the Dallas City Council have had a more turbulent year than most.