Ex-Dallas City Council member pleads guilty to taking bribes

DALLAS (AP) — A former Dallas City Council member has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a real estate developer in exchange for supporting an affordable housing project, according to court documents unsealed Friday.

Carolyn Davis, a member of the council’s Housing Committee, took tens of thousands of dollars from the developer between November 2013 and June 2015, according to her plea agreement.

The developer, Ruel Hamilton, is accused of paying Davis at least $40,000 in bribes and promising her future consulting work. In return, Davis lobbied and voted for more than $2.5 million in city " funds and obligations" for Hamilton’s development in southern Dallas, according to an indictment.

Davis is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs using federal funds. She faces a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Her attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hamilton, the owner of AmeriSouth Realty Group, is charged with two counts of bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits. Court records did not show whether he had entered any plea Friday. The developer did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.

Hamilton’s indictment also states that he paid a $7,000 bribe to a person identified only as "Council Person A" in August 2018. Less than a week after the money was allegedly exchanged, Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway resigned from the council when it was revealed he had pleaded guilty to taking bribes and kickbacks in a federal public corruption case.

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