After Dallas City Hall Corruption Case, State Lawmaker Aims to ‘eradicate Corruption' in Affordable Housing Tax Credits Process

AUSTIN — Days after former Dallas City Council member Carolyn Davis pleaded guilty to taking bribes from a real estate developer, a state lawmaker running for mayor said he will file legislation to "combat and hopefully eradicate corruption" in the awarding of affordable housing tax credits. Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, said elected officials and developers who seek their favor "have repeatedly abused their role" in the state-run affordable housing tax credit award process."We saw it again last Friday when a former Dallas City councilwoman pleaded guilty to taking some $40,000 in bribes in exchange for her support of an affordable housing development," he said. Davis' plea says she — as chair of the council's housing committee — helped get city approval for developer Ruel Hamilton's application for 9-percent tax credits to his Royal Crest Apartments. The state later rejected the application. Hamilton was also indicted in the case, but attorney said his client will plead not guilty. Davis will face up to three years in prison as part of her plea."Sadly, she is not the first elected official who's been caught trying to profit from their role in the affordable housing tax credit award process," Johnson said.Johnson's predecessor in the Texas House, Terri Hodge, was also sent to prison for tax evasion related to bribes for her votes in an affordable housing tax credit deal. She was one of more than a dozen people indicted in what was called the largest public corruption investigation in Dallas history.  Continue reading...

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