Sylvia Atkinson, a Brownsville Independent School District trustee who has been absent from board meetings since December, unexpectedly attended an emergency board meeting on Wednesday, saying she hoped to re-engage with the district.
She explained that she voluntarily stopped going to meetings in December but that her court case has dragged on because of the coronavirus pandemic and court dates keep getting put off. Atkinson is under indictment facing eight federal counts of conspiracy, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and violation of the Travel Act-State Law Bribery.
“I feel like I have done nothing wrong and I am going to prove that. Until I can be there to do that, I’m not going to further delay any opportunity to help this district,” she told the board, adding that she was duly elected to the board, has served with honor and intends “to do that until I can’t.”
Board attorney Baltazar Salazar explained that Atkinson voluntarily abstained from attending meetings but still has the same rights as any board member.
“Dr. Atkinson is still an elected official and a member of the community. She has not been removed. She is still entitled to vote and to discuss, everything,” he said.