More motions filed in Atkinson’s bribery case - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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More motions filed in Atkinson’s bribery case

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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 7:30 pm

Government prosecutors submitted a motion on Tuesday asking to inspect evidence that BISD vice president Sylvia Atkinson and her attorneys plan to introduce during trial.

Atkinson was charged in December on an eight-count indictment featuring felony bribery charges and violations of the Travel Act.

The document charged Atkinson with soliciting and accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as an employee of Pink Ape Media, a local advertising and film production company that previously won contracts to film on Brownsville Independent School District campuses.

The government’s motion for reciprocal discovery, filed on Tuesday, requests permission to copy any books, papers, documents, photographs, tangible objects, and reports of examinations made in connection to the case that are in Atkinson’s possession.

An additional motion, U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez, granted government attorneys extra time to file motions related to the case.

According to the document, one of those motions may include a motion for continuance in collaboration with Atkinson’s defense counsel, suggesting that the parties are discussing options pending trial.

Rodriguez set Atkinson’s final pretrial conference for Feb. 4, with jury selection for the anticipated two-week long trial on Feb. 10.

Atkinson, who also served as executive director of High School Programs and Community Outreach at Texas Southmost College was released on a $50,000 bond agreement following an arraignment hearing held last month.

Various sealed documents and events have been entered into Atkinson’s case record. Following her December arraignment, she made one closed-door court appearance accompanied by her attorneys in the court’s chambers.

Both Atkinson and her attorneys have declined to comment on the case.

The BISD Board of Trustees has approved a policy restricting Atkinson from all BISD activities.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

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