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Sunday, July 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Dallas City Hall Corruption Case Ends

DALLAS (CN) - The two final defendants in a Dallas City Hall corruption case were sentenced Friday. They are among 14 people convicted in a massive bribery and extortion scheme involving affordable housing developments.

Real estate developer Ronald Slovacek, 43, of Denton, was sentenced to 7 years in prison. A jury convicted him last year of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Andrea Spencer, who owned a minority contracting firm, was sentenced to 2 years probation. She pleaded guilty in April 2008 to conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government official receiving federal benefits.

Prosecutors say Slovacek conspired with former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, his wife, Sheila Farrington, then-Dallas Plan Commissioner D'Angelo Lee, and others to use Spencer's minority business certificate to solicit overpriced construction contracts from developer Brian Potashnik.

Lee, Spencer and Slovacek were to create corporate entities in which Lee's interest was hidden, then purchase and develop real estate with official assistance from Hill and Lee. Slovacek was to do the actual construction work on contracts awarded to Spencer's firm.

Each conspirator was important to the scheme - Spencer had the minority business certificate, Hill and Lee brought official influence and Slovacek was a builder.

Under her plea agreement, Spencer testified at Slovacek's trial.

In December 2010, Potashnik was sentenced to 14 months in prison. Ten months earlier, Hill was sentenced to 18 years, Farrington to 9 years and Lee to 14 years.

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