Attorneys request hearing in Sylvia Atkinson case

Attorneys for Sylvia Atkinson have asked for a hearing on a sealed motion to suppress which they say addresses an issue both attorneys failed to recognize before the deadline for filing motions in the case had passed.

The Brownsville Independent School District Board of Trustees vice president is currently set to go to trial in October, according to court records. She is represented by attorneys Noe Garza and Dale Robertson.

Atkinson faces eight federal counts including conspiracy, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and violation of the Travel Act-State Bribery Law stemming from an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury in December 2019.

The document accuses Atkinson of soliciting and accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as an employee of local film production and advertising company Pink Ape Media, in exchange for placing a production proposal on the school board agenda.

Atkinson is scheduled for an in-chambers conference on Sept.10, though her motion for leave to file a late motion suggests that the motion to suppress could be heard at a hearing scheduled for Sept. 22, or at the pretrial conference.

At the state level, a petition filed by Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz is set for a final hearing via Zoom on Sept. 23.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com