Texas Named America’s Most Corrupt City Once Again


Texas is known for its vast size, rich history, vibrant culture, strong economy, and volatile political landscape. However, in addition to these traits, Texas has a less favorable reputation: corruption. According to recent results from the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit watchdog organization, Texas is the most corrupt state in the US, as measured by criteria that include government accountability, openness, and ethical standards. Hutchins, Texas, is well-known for its rampant corruption.

Hutchins is a small town in Dallas County with a population of about 6,000. While the city is best known for hosting Hutchins State Jail, a medium-security correctional facility that houses over 2,000 offenders, its reputation originates primarily from its local government. Over the last decade, Hutchins has dealt with a slew of scandals, investigations, arrests, and convictions involving elected officials, city employees, and contractors. Here are some extreme examples of corruption in Hutchins:

The Mayor’s Bribery Scheme

In 2019, Mayor Artis Johnson was sentenced to four years in federal prison for receiving bribes from a contractor hired to restore the city’s water system. Johnson admitted to accepting $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 cost the city more than $300,000. He also admitted to using his influence to gain more contracts for the contractor while submitting misleading information to the FBI.

City Manager’s Embezzlement

In 2020, City Manager Carl Sherman Jr. was charged with 10 counts of theft and fraud, suspected of embezzling more than $500,000 from the city. Sherman Jr. allegedly misused his position to shift city cash to personal accounts, cover personal costs, and make illicit transactions with city credit cards. Falsification of city records and receipts masked his operations.

Police Chief’s Misconduct

Hutchins Police Chief Steve Perry was fired in 2021 after an internal inquiry found several infractions of police standards. Perry was accused of using excessive force, tampering with evidence, falsifying reports, and sexual harassment. He was also accused of recruiting cops who were not competent, some of whom had criminal records, which led to his dismissal and subsequent legal action against the city.

Council Member’s Drug Trafficking

In 2022, Council Member James Smith was arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Smith allegedly used his position to assist drug sales, protect traffickers, and use public resources for unlawful activity. He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.


These incidents highlight Hutchins’ tainted reputation as a hub of corruption. Numerous media sites have dubbed Hutchins the most corrupt city in Texas, and it has faced investigation from federal, state, and municipal officials, as well as legal action and public protest. Despite calls for change and accountability, the persistent nature of corruption in the city presents considerable obstacles to its elimination.

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