Dallas County Schools Scandal Ringleader Behind Bars - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas County Schools Scandal Ringleader Behind Bars

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    Dallas County Schools Scandal Ringleader Behind Bars
    NBC 5 News
    Robert Leonard

    Robert Leonard, the businessman at the center of the Dallas County Schools scandal has reported to federal prison.

    Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Leonard is now in custody at the Federal Correctional Institution at Oakdale, Lousisiana.

    In May, Leonard was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the corruption scandal that brought down DCS. He admitted paying millions of dollars of bribes to Dallas County Schools Superintendent Rick Sorrells and Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway.

    Those bribes helped Leonard’s company, Force Multiplier Solutions, maintain its business relationship with DCS.

    Force Multiplier had contracts with DCS to provide school bus safety cameras on the fleet of buses which once transported more than 75,000 children to school each day. The corruption scandal nearly bankrupted the agency which was eventually shut down by the Texas legislature and Dallas County voters.

    Caraway is currently serving a four and a half year sentence.  Sorrells is scheduled for sentencing next month.

    Leonard’s close associate Slater Swartwood Sr. was sentenced in July to 18 months for his role as the middle man in the bribery scheme.

    A yearslong probe by NBC 5 Investigates documented how Leonard developed a close personal relationship to Sorrells. The two had side-by-side units in a luxury building in New Orleans. Sorrells would later admit he used the bribe money he received from Leonard to pay for the New Orleans residence along with luxury cars and even tuition for his children.

    The NBC 5 investigation also showed Caraway received so-called "consulting payments" from Leonard and a home loan to Caraway's father. A loan that was never repaid. In his plea agreement with the feds, Caraway acknowledged he knew some of the money was paid to secure his political influence on the council where he cast a vote that allowed the bus camera program to continue.

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