Federal Jury Convicts Builder/Developer in Dallas City Hall Corruption Case
All 14 Defendants Charged in City’s Largest Public Corruption Case Have Been Convicted
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 19, 2010|
DALLAS—Following a two-week trial and nearly one week of deliberation, a federal jury has convicted Ronald W. Slovacek on all three counts of a superseding indictment charging him with felony offenses related to his involvement in a kickback scheme involving low-income housing in south Dallas, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Specifically, the jury convicted Slovacek, 42, of Shady Shores, Texas, on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits and aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 35 years in prison; sentencing is set for March 4, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn.
Slovacek was a real estate developer and a principal of RON-SLO, Inc., and Millennium Land Development, LLC, Kiest General, LLC, Kiest Blvd., LP and The LKC Dallas.
The government presented evidence at trial that Slovacek conspired with former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill, his wife, Sheila Farrington, then Dallas Plan Commissioner D’Angelo Lee and others, including Andrea Spencer, to use Spencer’s minority business certificate to solicit overpriced construction contracts from developer Brian Potashnik. Slovacek’s role was to perform the actual construction work on a contract that was awarded to Spencer’s firm as a result of Hill and Lee’s influence. Lee, Spencer, and Slovacek created The LKC Dallas and the above-named Kiest companies, in which Lee’s interest was hidden, to purchase and develop real estate with official assistance from Hill and Lee. Each were important to the scheme—Spencer had the minority business certificate, Hill and Lee brought official influence and Slovacek was a builder.
Both Potashnik and Spencer testified at Slovacek’s trial, as part of the terms of their plea agreement with the government. Potashnik is scheduled to be sentenced on December 17, 2010; a date has not yet been set for Spencer. Hill is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence; Farrington is serving nine years; and Lee is serving 14 years.
The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-CI. It was prosecuted by Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham, Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Fahey, Chris Stokes, and Leigha Simonton.