A group called Government Crime Stoppers has posted a $2,500 reward for tips that lead to the prosecution of any public official wrongfully involved in the Dallas County Schools school bus camera operation that cost DCS $16 million.
The story began in 2012, when DCS and the Dallas City Council agreed that DCS would take over responsibility for the city’s school crossing guards. As part of the deal, the Dallas City Council also approved a proposal from DCS and Force Multiplier solutions – a company that sold security cameras for school buses.
The two organizations partnered with the goal of increasing student safety by installing cameras on school bus “stop arms” that could capture and document drivers who illegally passed school buses. DCS and Force Multiplier would then split the revenue generated from ticketed drivers.
Three years later, DCS and Force Multiplier needed the Dallas City Council to approve continuation of the program. Despite concerns about vague details, the council agreed and extended the deal for 25 years. Not long after the approval, however, it became evident that the “stop arm” program was a failure. Ticket cases created by the technology were being adjudicated left and right, and the costs of outfitting the buses ($10,000 per bus) were not being recovered.
Coverage of DCS’ failings led to legislative action that resulted in the dissolution of DCS in November. And in December, a man named Slater Swartwood Sr. — an associate of Force Multiplier — plead guilty to money laundering charges issued by the federal government.
The feds claimed that more than $3 million was funneled through Force Multiplier back into DCS, through former DCS superintendent Rick Sorrells, in exchange for bus-camera contracts.
Since then, shady details have emerged around Dallas City Council officials. For instance, one of Swartwood’s other companies paid thousands of dollars in consulting fees to Dallas City Council Member, Dwaine Caraway along with a $20,000 loan to Caraway’s family.
Additionally, Force Multiplier CEO, Robert Leonard — along with other Force Multiplier associates like Swartwood — gave at least $78,000 to the campaigns of 15 council candidates between 2013 and 2016.
Former council member and president of the DCS board of trustees, Larry Duncan, knew Robert Leonard and acted as the “middleman” for Force Multiplier campaign contributions to Dallas City Council candidates. In one instance, the Dallas Morning News reported that Duncan handed an envelope filled with $5,000 to Joe Tave over coffee during his City Council campaign.
If you have details regarding the DCS case, you can submit a tip here for a possible $2500 reward.
Encrypted and fully anonymous tips regarding the illegal actions of office-holders and other public servants will be collected online through the world’s leading tip solution provider, Anderson Software.
“Our goal is not only to assist authorities in prosecuting open indictments but also to expose corruption that might not otherwise be discovered,” said Richard Carter, an advisor to Government Crime Stoppers and the former executive director of Crime Stoppers International, Inc.
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