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Jury Convicts Dallas Developer for Bribing Corrupt City Officials

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Another participant in a scheme involving bribes to Democrats on Dallas City Council has been found guilty in federal court of buying political favors from corrupt city officials.

A jury convicted Dallas real estate developer Ruel Hamilton on two counts of bribery and one count of conspiracy for paying thousands of dollars to then-council members Dwaine Caraway and Carolyn Davis in return for their help securing city funding for his low-income housing projects.

Both Caraway and Davis admitted to taking bribes from Hamilton, who ran AmeriSouth Realty, a real estate investment company specializing in redeveloping older multifamily properties, primarily run-down apartment complexes, as low-income housing.

Caraway—on release from prison, where he’s serving time for a separate bribery scheme—testified in court against Hamilton, admitting he took $7,000 from the developer in exchange for helping Hamilton’s company get high-dollar housing deals from the city.

The disgraced Democrat, who represented District 4 in South Dallas and was serving as mayor pro tem, resigned in 2018 after pleading guilty to taking $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks in a scandal involving the now-defunct school bus agency Dallas County Schools. The scandal brought down multiple corrupt city and county officials and their co-conspirators. Caraway was sentenced to 56 months in prison for his part in that scheme.

Caraway’s cash from Hamilton also bought his support for putting a paid sick leave initiative on the 2019 ballot—a scheme to boost Democrat voter turnout in the city elections. Hamilton was a major donor to local and state Democrat candidates.

Davis pleaded guilty in 2019 to taking more than $40,000 in bribes from Hamilton.

Davis, the Democrat who represented South Dallas’ District 7 from 2007-2015, admitted she actively sought the bribes. In exchange, she used her influence as chair of the council’s housing committee to advocate for Hamilton’s Royal Crest

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