Former Dallas City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway was sentenced Friday for his part in a bribery scheme that brought down a corrupt county bureaucracy and several crooked officials.
A federal judge ordered the disgraced Democrat politician to serve 56 months in federal prison and pay over $500,000 in restitution.
Caraway resigned last August and pleaded guilty to taking $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks in the money-laundering conspiracy that shut down school bus agency Dallas County Schools and cost taxpayers over $100 million.
Caraway used his position to convince fellow city council members to support a bogus school bus stop-arm camera ticketing scheme run by DCS.
“This wasn’t just money falling into your hands because they liked you; they were expecting something for it,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn told Caraway at the sentencing. “Something that goes on for six years is hard to call a mistake. At some point, it becomes a habit.”
Caraway shortened his sentence by cooperating with prosecutors investigating his co-conspirators, including Larry Duncan, president of DCS for 12 years and a former member of Dallas City Council, and ex-DCS Superintendent Rick Sorrells. Both Duncan and Sorrells pleaded guilty to federal charges in the public corruption scheme.
Caraway has 30 days to report to prison.