Texas Named America’s Most Corrupt City, Again

Texas is renowned for its expansive dimensions, rich history, vibrant culture, robust economy, and dynamic political landscape. However, alongside these attributes, Texas grapples with a less favorable reputation: corruption. Recent findings from the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit watchdog organization, rank Texas as the most corrupt state in the nation, gauged by criteria encompassing government accountability, transparency, and ethical standards. Within Texas, one city stands out for its notorious corruption: Hutchins.

Nestled in Dallas County, Hutchins boasts a modest population of approximately 6,000 residents. While recognized as the site of Hutchins State Jail, a medium-security correctional facility accommodating around 2,000 inmates, the city’s notoriety stems primarily from its municipal governance. Over the past decade, Hutchins has grappled with a succession of scandals, investigations, arrests, and convictions involving elected officials, city employees, and contractors. Here are some egregious instances illustrating corruption in Hutchins:

The Mayor’s Bribery Scheme

In 2019, Mayor Artis Johnson was sentenced to four years in federal prison for accepting bribes from a contractor tasked with repairing the city’s water system. Johnson admitted to receiving $18,000 in cash, a $12,000 Rolex watch, and a $10,000 trip to Las Vegas in exchange for awarding the contract, which ultimately overcharged the city by more than $300,000. He also confessed to leveraging his influence to secure additional contracts for the contractor while providing false information to the FBI.

The City Manager’s Embezzlement

In 2020, City Manager Carl Sherman Jr. faced indictment on ten counts of theft and fraud, accused of embezzling over $500,000 from the city. Allegations outlined Sherman Jr.’s misuse of his position to redirect city funds to personal accounts, cover personal expenses, and make unauthorized purchases using city credit cards. Falsification of city records and receipts further obscured his activities.

The Police Chief’s Misconduct

Hutchins Police Chief Steve Perry was dismissed in 2021 following an internal investigation that revealed numerous violations of departmental policies. Accusations against Perry included excessive use of force, evidence tampering, falsifying reports, and engaging in sexual harassment. Additionally, he was accused of hiring inadequately qualified officers, some with criminal backgrounds, leading to his termination and subsequent legal action against the city.

The Council Member’s Drug Trafficking

In 2022, Council Member James Smith was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Allegedly leveraging his position, Smith facilitated drug transactions, shielded dealers, and utilized city resources for illicit activities. He pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.


These instances underscore Hutchins’ tarnished reputation as a hotbed of corruption. Dubbed the most corrupt city in Texas by numerous media outlets, Hutchins has endured scrutiny from federal, state, and local authorities, accompanied by legal actions and public outcry. Despite demands for reform and accountability, the pervasive nature of corruption within the city poses significant challenges to its eradication.

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