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| Crime |

Former Dallas County Schools Chief Sentenced as Part of Federal Corruption Investigation

The former chief of a now-defunct school bus agency was sentenced Tuesday as a part of a federal corruption investigation.EXPAND
The former chief of a now-defunct school bus agency was sentenced Tuesday as a part of a federal corruption investigation.
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The former head of a now-defunct school bus agency was sentenced Tuesday to six months of home confinement and three years of probation after pleading guilty to a single count of tax evasion.

Larry Duncan, former board president of Dallas County Schools, admitted to not paying taxes on nearly a quarter million dollars in phony campaign contributions he received from the president of a Louisiana-based technology company that was pursuing a contract to sell stop-arm cameras to the agency.

Duncan, 73, also must perform 200 hours of community service and pay $45,163 in back taxes and interest.

“We expect elected officials to be absolutely fastidious with money they receive as a result of their official position," said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. "When public officials behave unscrupulously, North Texas can count on federal prosecutors to intervene. We hope officials will heed our commitment to exposing corruption in any form it takes, and act accordingly.”

Dallas County Schools was an agency that provided school bus services for the Dallas Independent School District and several other school districts. It was abolished in 2017, at which point it was more than $100 million in debt.

Duncan, who served four terms on the Dallas City Council before heading up the school bus agency, accepted $245,000 in campaign contributions from Force Multiplier Solutions President Robert Leonard, whose company was seeking to sell stop-arm cameras to the agency. Such cameras take photos of drivers who fail to stop for a school bus when its stop arm is extended.

Duncan admitted he used most of that money for personal purposes, including paying off car-related expenses, taking out cash withdrawals and passing money along to his wife, officials with the U.S. Department of Justice reported.

Duncan's sentencing comes just days after former Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison as a part of the same investigation. In August, Caraway pleaded guilty to taking nearly $450,000 in bribes and kickbacks from Force Multiplier Solutions. He must report to prison May 5.

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