Dallas politicians have begun to weigh in on now-resigned Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway’s guilty plea in a complex corruption case.
Caraway accepted more than $450,000 in bribes as part of a scheme that earned a Plano-based technology company more than $70 million in licensing agreements with Dallas County Schools, forcing the organization into bankruptcy. Ricky Dale Sorrells, the superintendent of the now-abolished DCS, was allegedly paid more than $3 million in bribes.
Here’s what local leaders have said in the wake of Caraway’s resignation Thursday.
Caraway himself issued a public apology in the form of a letter to the city secretary’s office, acknowledging that he “betrayed the public’s trust.”
“Over the past several weeks, through a lot of prayer and soul searching, I have decided that I must take responsibility for my actions,” he wrote. “I have dedicated much of my life to serving others, but have never claimed to be without sin. I am truly sorry that I must end my career as an elected official because I betrayed the public’s trust that I worked so very hard to earn.”
The letter also indicated that he would not allow a “dark cloud” to loom over the City of Dallas in a prolonged legal battle.
Mayor Mike Rawlings
Mayor Rawlings issued a public statement via social media, acknowledging the magnitude of the corruption uncovered at Dallas County Schools and expressing appreciation for Caraway’s admittance of his crimes.
“As we all now know, the corruption at Dallas County Schools extended beyond the confines of that now shuttered organization,” he wrote. “As your mayor, I am saddened by what we learned today about the actions of one of my former colleagues.”
“I appreciate that [Caraway] is admitting his crimes and sparing the city what could have been a drawn out legal battle.”
Rawlings also made a plea to Dallas’ citizens to not let Caraway’s actions define the city council.
“More than 12,000 people work for the City of Dallas,” he wrote. “Almost every one of them serves honorably and ethically – and never makes the news. This city is so much bigger than any one politician who lost his way.”
Councilmember Philip Kingston
Kingston, the District 14 representative, issued a brief statement to WFAA calling it an “unmitigated tragedy.”
“I am shocked and saddened,” he said. “This is an unmitigated tragedy for the city. It’s bad for the city of Dallas, it’s bad for the council and it’s bad for district 4.”
Councilmember Omar Narvaez
Narvaez, the District 6 rep, was complimentary of Caraway but said the former mayor pro tem “broke the public’s trust.”
“Mr. Caraway was a well liked and charismatic man who did many good things for his district,” Narvaez said. “He irreparably broke the public’s trust. I am sad and disappointed.”
Councilmember Rickey D. Callahan
District 5 representative Rickey Callahan called it a “sad day.”
“I regret that his actions have led to this. A sad day for Dwaine Caraway and for Dallas,” Callahan wrote. “I am glad he is taking full personal responsibility for his actions and I’ll be praying for he and his family. I wish him well in the days and years ahead.”
Councilmember Sandy Greyson
WFAA was told by Greyson's office that the District 12 rep declined to make a public comment on the matter.