City leaders call for special election to replace Dwaine Caraway

The Dallas City Council called for a special election to replace the District 4 seat, which was vacated by disgraced Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

Caraway pleaded guilty to taking nearly half a million dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

Days after Caraway's conviction, Mayor Mike Rawlings acknowledged the corruption scandal may not be limited to bribes over bus cameras and a company called Force Multiplier Solutions.

“If there are any other bad guys out there, I say come on forward and let's get this thing resolved. Be the right type of person and admit that,” the mayor said.

Rawlings says the FBI has not interviewed him.

“When the initial reports came out of payments that were not related to this, I went to Mr. Caraway myself and asked him for an explanation. And he just flat out lied to me. It's very, very upsetting to me,” Rawlings said. “I've known Mr. Caraway now for seven years.  I didn't know him before I was elected. I was always a believer that he was trying to do the right thing for the city, but he did it in a ham hock way. He did it with heavy hands, and I didn't like that style.  It's not mine to judge style. It's mine to judge facts.”

Caraway's case highlights a 2015 meeting and a contract extension with Force Multiplier Solutions. During this time frame, the company's CEO, Robert Leonard Jr, was funneling money for Caraway's vote. Caraway pushed hard for the deal. Other council members pushed back and the contract was scaled down.     

“I think what is truly amazing is the stupidity of Mr. Leonard not understanding how government works,” Rawlings said. “He paid Mr. Caraway all this money thinking Mr. Caraway can make a vote happen.  In fact, he can't. He's one of 15 votes.”

Leonard also pleaded guilty, but the bribery scandal had already taken down Dallas County Schools, the agency that bought the bus cameras.

“As mayor, I'm sorry to the citizens that I have any small part of this. Just being on the council when this happens,” Rawlings said.

The deadline for candidates to file to run for the District 4 seat is August 23.