Two former political candidates called for Dallas City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway to step down Wednesday following an NBC 5 Investigates report that he received payments from a man implicated in the Dallas County Schools bus scandal.
Republican Kinney Fields, who challenged John Wiley Price's seat on the Dallas County Commissioner's Court in 2016, and Democrat Brandon Vance, who ran against U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson in the 2016 primary, used the open microphone at Wednesday morning's Dallas City Council meeting to separately call for Caraway to resign his District 4 seat.
Vance and Fields both told NBC 5 Investigates that their calls for Caraway to resign were not politically motivated and that they were simply raised out of concern for money he’d received and votes he’d made related to Dallas County Schools – information released in reports published by NBC 5 Investigates last month.
Fields said other members of the Dallas City Council need to hold Caraway accountable and that they need to take action. Vance said Caraway needs to answer more questions about records that seem to contradict statements he made in a recent interview with NBC 5 Investigates.
“The public has a right to know what’s going on. Who are your intentions aligned with? Are you representing us or are you representing yourself and lining your pockets?”, Fields said.
Caraway, who was not present when the men spoke, eventually showed up to the council meeting dressed in athletic wear and dark sunglasses.
The mayor pro tem was reached by telephone afterward and he told NBC 5 Investigates that he'd just had surgery and that he had no response to the men's call for his ouster. Caraway went on to say Wednesday, "My mom has told me not to talk to you anymore. You did me bad. You did my family real bad. You disrespected me."
Caraway was referring to last month’s report where NBC 5 Investigates questioned him about payments he received from Slater Swartwood, a Louisiana man who is facing up to five years in federal prison in an ongoing FBI corruption investigation at Dallas County Schools.
Caraway has denied any wrong doing. He says Swartwood hired him as a real estate scout to help identify locations to build low income housing. Caraway denies that those payments had any connection to the scandal at Dallas County Schools, where Swartwood has admitted to being a conduit for bribes to another public official.
Swartwood, meanwhile, was in federal court Tuesday where he agreed to plead guilty to money laundering conspiracy charges. Swartwood took the plea deal during the Christmas holidays in exchange for his possible testimony in the FBI investigation of Dallas County Schools and its business deals with a school bus camera company.