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.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.