Former Melissa mayor David Dorman was sentenced to federal prison on June 28 for his part in a bribery scheme involving land annexed from McKinney to Melissa.
Standing before Judge Marcia Crone in the Federal Building in Sherman wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie, Dorman was sentenced to 33 months in prison and was ordered to submit to forfeiture of $30,000. Among other stipulations handed down was that he may not hold public office and he cannot own a firearm. Dorman was issued three years of supervised release following his prison term.
Also sentenced in connection with the bribery scheme was land developer John Christie, of Frisco. Christie received six months in federal prison followed by one year of supervised release and the immediate forfeiture of his realtor and broker license for the duration of his prison term and supervised probation period.
Dorman had pled guilty to mail fraud on Jan. 7.Christie had pled guilty to misprision of a felony on Jan. 4.
The case against Dorman and Christie centered around a fraudulent land deal instigated by Dorman beginning in late 2006 and going through 2007. According to information presented in the January court proceedings, Dorman, while serving as mayor of Melissa, solicited a $70,000 bribe from land developer Christie in exchange for the City of Melissa to annex a portion of land from the City of McKinney in order for Christie to develop and sell the land to potential customers. Based on a letter from Dorman, the cities of Melissa and McKinney approved the annexation and, in exchange, Christie made one $10,000 cash payment and two $10,000 payments by check to Dorman.
Dorman’s attorney, Barry Sorrels, addressed the court prior to the punishment being handed down by Crone and pleaded for leniency, citing 34 letters of support from family, friends, community members and business associates. In his address, Sorrels painted a picture of Dorman as giving and generous to the community citing "a lifetime of generosity helping others. His community service history is extraordinary." Sorrells read aloud excerpts from letters of support written by Lynne Sipiora, executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and David Hoffman, board president of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, among others.
"In my experience in this business, this is an extraordinary history of giving," said Sorrells. "If there was ever a time to cash in on these good deeds that he never expected to benefit from, this would be the case."
After Sorrells was done addressing the court, Crone noted that she had also received adverse letters from people who said they had been bullied and/or damaged by Dorman, who had served as mayor of Melissa from 1999 to 2009. Regarding Dorman and Sorrells, Crone said, "It’s not as rosy a picture as you paint."
Dorman gave a statement to the court prior to his sentencing.
"I would like to apologize to my wife, my children, my grandchildren and the people of Melissa," Dorman said. "These actions will haunt me for the rest of my life."
Christie’s attorney stressed that his client had fully cooperated with authorities once he was confronted by authorities.
"I was wrong, I should have reported this incident as soon as it occurred," said Christie to the court. "I am humbled."
Both men were ordered to surrender themselves to authorities for incarceration by 2 p.m. on Aug. 12 to begin serving their respective prison terms.