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Special Report


Dallas Lawsuit Seeks to Recover $125 Million Lost to Stop-Arm Video Scheme


WRITTEN BY AMANDA PAMPURO T


he dissolution of the Dallas County School District has been described as the biggest shut- down of a government agency in modern Texas history. And it all started with a plan to equip school buses with stop-arm cameras aimed at ticketing motorists who illegally pass while students are loading and unloading. Beginning in 2008, Force Multiplier Solutions


advertised that its BusGuard and Ongo Live products could provide school districts with mobile camera systems using real-time data, video and audio. In 2010, Dallas County Schools (DCSD), a government agency that was established over a century ago to provide educational services such as transportation to about a dozen local independent school districts, signed a contract with


22 School Transportation News • OCTOBER 2018


Force Multiplier to purchase 150 bus stop-arm cameras. Te new equipment promised to catch drivers who ran the red octagon, hold them accountable, and fine them, which would hopefully reduce the number of future violations. Unbeknownst to taxpayers, parents, and even the district’s


own board members, DCSD Superintendent Dr. Rick Sorrells would dump millions of dollars into the bus-arm program over the next six years. While Sorrells drove the district into unmanageable debt, he also admitted to receiving $3 million in bribes, campaign contributions and kickbacks from Force Multiplier Solutions’ owner, Robert Leonard. State legislators long-intent on shuttering DCSD finally succeeded by introducing a ballot measure to do


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