The U.S. government released Rick Sorrells to home confinement, where he will finish the remainder of a seven-year prison sentence, according to information obtained by NBC 5 Investigates.
The outlet reported that Sorrells was granted early release due to recent changes in federal law as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, which has made it easier for federal prisoners to serve the rest of their sentences outside of prison walls.
Though the Federal Bureau of Prisons did not confirm that Sorrells was not in a halfway house, NBC 5 reported that their sources claimed the convict is living at home in Dallas County. He has only been in prison since 2019.
Robert Leonard, the businessman who in 2019 pleaded guilty to bribing Sorrells, is also serving a seven-year prison sentence. A lawyer from Louisiana, Richard Reynolds, also pleaded guilty to using his law firm to cover up bribe payments to Sorrells and other officials who participated in the conspiracy.
The agency in question was called Dallas County Schools and Sorrells was its “superintendent.” It also had a “board of trustees,” even though it was not a school system.
Sorrells and others, including former Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway, accepted bribes from a security supplier, Force Multiplier Solutions, which sold stop-arm cameras to Dallas County Schools.
Caraway, convicted of accepting bribes and honest services wire fraud in other cases, was also released from prison earlier this year. His sentence was reduced in exchange for his testimony against Ruel Hamilton, who bribed Caraway and other elected officials.
Dallas County voters chose to shut down the corrupted agency in a November 2017 referendum. 58 percent voted in favor of the closure.
When he was serving in the Texas Senate, Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas) proposed legislation to close the school transportation provider, though his efforts were unsuccessful.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan. He has coached high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.