DALLAS – The signage outside former Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway’s Neighborhood Information Center on Cedar Crest was removed late Thursday afternoon.
The removal happened hours after investigators announced Caraway is pleading guilty to federal corruption and tax evasion charges. No one from the politician’s circle of supporters is talking about the scandal. However, many community members are speaking out about the controversy.
“We’re talking here about the former Mayor Pro Tem Mr. Dwaine Caraway,” announced radio host Robert Ashley as he began his midday show at KHVN radio station. “What should happen in light of what’s going on with Mr. Caraway.”
The phone lines were busy as community members dialed in to give their opinion on Thursday’s “Community Forum” show. ”Dwaine is my friend,” one caller mentioned. “I’ve seen a lot of wonderful things.”
As callers sounded off about the former Mayor Pro Tem’s resignation from City Hall, many mentioned they were shocked, but not surprised. "He is the poster boy of betrayal for black politicians and elected officials in this city,” another caller said.
Caraway faces between seven to 10 years in prison. Critics and supporters were discussing the issue across District Four.
”It don’t make sense,” said Oak Cliff resident Bette Hinton. Some neighbors are calling Caraways guilty plea for accepting nearly a half-million dollars in bribes and kickbacks one of the biggest scandals in rock Dallas City Hall.
"I’m paying your salary. Then you are taking money from somebody else and sticking it in your pocket. It don’t make sense, you ain't giving me none of it. So, it ain't right," Hinton said.
Some neighbors want to remember Caraway as a champion for southern Dallas. They say he made sure City Hall responded to community concerns.
Oak Cliff resident Marianne Dean explained, ”He made some very unwise choices, and I just hope for him and everyone else that’s in a leadership position to know that we need strong leaders. We have lost a very strong effective leader who made some wrong choices.”
However, where corruption in public office is concerned, some community members say they expect more from elected leaders. “It’s a disgrace,” Ashley told his radio listeners. “We’ve got to do better.”