Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Dallas real estate developer Ruel Hamilton gets 8 years in prison for bribery

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A judge sentenced Dallas real estate developer Ruel Hamilton on Tuesday to eight years in federal prison for bribing two former Dallas City Council members, authorities say.

Hamilton, who was convicted in June of conspiracy and bribery, will report to prison in February, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.

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“Even as he extolled his own generosity, Mr. Hamilton bought and paid for his influence at city hall. He used money to ingratiate himself to lawmakers, subverting the democratic processes we hold dear,” Acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said. “As my predecessors have said, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not allow a kickback culture to fester at city hall. Our prosecutors will not hesitate to pursue anyone involved in public corruption.”

Hamilton paid thousands of dollars to Carolyn Davis, then chair of the city housing committee, according to evidence presented at trial. He also paid a $7,000 bribe to councilman Dwaine Caraway in 2018.

Davis was killed in 2019 in a crash with a driver who was accused of driving while intoxicated. Caraway is serving a 51-month sentence for taking bribes.

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“Today’s sentencing reaffirms the FBI’s commitment to holding those who pay bribes, accept bribes, and facilitate bribe payments fully accountable. Mr. Hamilton learned that there are consequences to circumventing a system that is in place to protect taxpayers,” FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said. “Public corruption remains one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities and we will continue working with our law enforcement partners to pursue anyone involved in this type of scheme.”

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