DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Once considered one of the most influential leaders in Dallas, former Mayor Pro Tem and council member Dwaine Caraway was sentenced this afternoon to 4 years and 8 months in federal prison for public corruption.
He has until May 5 to surrender and go to prison.
Reporters peppered Caraway with questions, but he said, “No comment right now.”
Down the street, he made his only comment out a car window to CBS 11 photojournalist Jay Johnson.
“She made a fair ruling,” Caraway said, referring to the judge.
It was last August Caraway pled guilty after admitting he accepted $450,000 from a company that was selling stop-arm cameras for buses owned by the now defunct Dallas Co. Schools.
In exchange, Caraway gained support of the council and voted for a city ordinance to make the stop arm camera program work.
In court, Caraway told the judge: “I made a mistake… I let the poison come in under the door and let it get under my nose…”
He continued, “I’ve embarrassed the city. I’m ashamed, I’m remorseful… I deserve and respect everything that is coming to me…”
The judge said something that went on for six years was no mistake and she called it a grave betrayal.
Among those who spoke to the judge on Caraway’s behalf was Khalil Coffield, who called him a father figure.
“He was part of the reason why i decided to go to college, the first in my family to go to college. Not only go to college but graduate with a degree and have a full time job in corporate America.”
Pearl Hicks said years ago, Caraway helped her keep her home when she and her husband went into foreclosure.
He will always be in my heart and in my heart he is an honest man,” said Hicks.
Federal prosecutors asked the judge to delay Friday’s sentencing until Caraway could testify as a key witness in another bribery case linked to former Dallas council member Carolyn Davis.
The judge denied the request and said sentencing will proceed. However, Caraway’s assistance will be taken into account. She said prosecutors can always come back at a later date and ask for a reduction in sentence.