The ex-wife of a school bus camera company CEO will be held accountable for her alleged role in ripping off taxpayers in Dallas, Texas. County Judge Eric Moye on Friday ruled that Margaret Leonard will have to turn over evidence to the committee charged with clawing back some of the $185 million lost as a result of the stop arm camera scandal that took down Dallas County Schools (DCS).
Checks in her name were written to DCS president Larry Duncan, who admitted taking bribes. She gave $5000 to state Representative Ramon Romero (D-Fort Worth), $7000 to California secretary of state Alex Padilla (D) and $5000 to Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards (D). In an April 6, 2015, email, Duncan told Robert Leonard how much campaign cash was expected in each Dallas city council race. Linda Leonard's signature is on $1000 checks for each name listed.
"Please make all checks out to the candidate's name plus the word 'campaign,'" Duncan wrote. "Individual campaign contribution limit is $1000... We discussed the following amounts."
The email lists $3000 for unopposed city council candidates Adam Medrano, Scott Griggs and Philip T. Kingston. Candidates in contested races would receive $5000, including Tiffani A. Young, Mark Clayton, Gail Terrell, Carolyn King Arnold and Joe Tave. Duncan then added $3000 for Monica R. Alonzo and $5000 for Sherry Cordova.
"I simply overlooked Alonzo when we last talked," Duncan wrote. "She is a friend and would be hurt if we left her out and she found out about the others."
Even though Margaret Leonard did not work for Force Multiplier, the company paid the mortgage on her $1.6 million "resort like estate" on Royal Lane in Dallas . She also received over $50,000 in payments from the company over two months. Shortly after Margaret Leonard filed for divorce on November 8, 2017, many of Robert Leonard's assets were transferred into her name. Harbin argued the divorce was a ploy to shield those assets.
As a resident of Louisiana, Margaret Leonard insists the Texas court has no jurisdiction over her. She also says the campaign checks signed in her name were not authorized.
"I didn't write this check," Margaret Leonard explained in a deposition earlier this month. "That's not my handwriting." Akin to.. "I did NOT have sex with that woman" (Good 'ol Bill)
The primary purpose of Dallas County Schools was operating the school bus service, but it decided to pay $25 million to Force Multiplier for the exclusive right to market and sell school bus cameras to other Texas school districts. The scheme failed to make the promised return, and debt spiraled out of control.
DCS and Leonard cooked up a complicated real estate deal to raise funds, which only drove DCS deeper in debt. I
nvestigative journalists at KXAS-TV exposed the plot after noticing the campaign cash flowing from Force Multiplier to camera boosters on the council.