DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas real estate developer is facing federal bribery charges for his involvement with members of the Dallas City Council.
Sherman Roberts is the president of City Wide Community Development Corporation, a company that has worked on real estate projects for years, including one CBS 11 profiled in 2012.
Roberts, 66, is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery involving a local government.
The Dallas City Council members involved are not named in the indictment.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is determined to restore Dallas’ trust in its city government by systematically dismantling the ecosystems that allowed this sort of corruption. We continue to attack the problem from every angle, targeting bribe payors, recipients, and facilitators,” said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. “Cities flourish when leaders have only constituents’ best interests at heart. We will not stop until that goal is achieved.”
“Bribing government officials in exchange for official acts destroys the public’s confidence in city government. The criminal activity alleged today demonstrates the willingness of our trusted public officials to waste valuable resources intended for the residents of Dallas, while circumventing the processes they were charged to uphold. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to ensure that those who pay bribes, accept bribes and facilitate bribe payments are held fully accountable,” said Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office.
According to the indictment, Roberts allegedly bribed two City Council Members – identified in charging documents as “Council Member A” and “Council Member B” – to support his various apartment projects.
In return for cash payments and the promise of future payments after her city council tenure ended, Council Member A voted to authorize more than $1.9 million in City of Dallas funding for Robert’s Serenity Place project, recommended that the project receive a 9% low income housing tax credit from the Texas Department of Housing, and demanded that developers with competing projects withdraw their applications for funding in order to increase Mr. Robert’s chances.
“Right now, you and me are making money” from the real estate dealings, Roberts allegedly told Council Member A, who was then serving as a leader of Dallas’ Housing Committee, in spring 2015.
Together, the pair then approached Council Member B for his help with another one of Mr. Robert’s developments.
In return for a $600 cash payment plus the promise of a $60,000 lump sum payment and a $2,000 monthly stipend, Council Member B agreed to stop the City of Dallas from issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Mr. Robert’s Patriot’s Crossing project and to cast votes in favor of the project on the City Council.
If convicted, Roberts faces up to 15 years in federal prison.
Roberts is the third real estate developer charged with bribery in the past two years.
Devin Hall, the developer behind the Grand Park Place apartment project, pleaded guilty in August 2020.
READ ROBERTS’ INDICTMENT HERE
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