Ex-Dallas County Schools official pleads guilty to tax evasion

The former board president of the now-shuttered Dallas County Schools bus agency pleaded guilty on Monday to tax evasion. 

Larry Duncan resigned last year from DCS, the former bussing agency beset by deep financial troubles and questionable business dealings. Dallas County voters last year opted to shut down DCS.

Federal prosecutors say Duncan received nearly a quarter of a million dollars from the president of a company hired by DCS to put expensive stop-arm cameras on school buses. Now, he faces up to five years in prison for what happened to that money.

Court documents say Duncan received $245,000 in campaign contributions over several years from the president of Force Multiplier Solutions, a technology company that puts cameras on school buses. Duncan spent $184,726 of that money on items not related to his DCS campaigns and then did not report all of the money on tax returns, according to the documents.

The U.S. Attorney's office for the North District of Texas says the tax evasion charge comes from the investigation into the bribery scandal at the Dallas County Schools. 

"Today marks another important step in our ongoing commitment to expose public corruption," said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox in a statement. 

The president of Force Multiplier Solutions, Robert Leonard, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a fraud charge.

Former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway pleaded guilty earlier this year in the public corruption case and resigned from the Dallas City Council. 

Federal prosecutors said Caraway accepted more than $450,000 in kickbacks and bribes, in part through a phony consulting agreement, gambling money and trips to Las Vegas and elsewhere.

To date, five people associated with the lucrative bus camera deal have been convicted. When DCS shut its doors in July, it was saddled with over $1 million in debt.

“The FBI is committed to unraveling every thread as it relates to this case until we've committed all of the corruption that has been associated with the Dallas County Schools,” said Eric Jackson with the Dallas FBI Office.

Cox would not say if more arrests are expected. She did say additional details related to the case could be revealed when Duncan is sentenced on March 8, 2019.