Prosecutors seek anonymity of witness in Atkinson case - Brownsville Herald: Local News

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Prosecutors seek anonymity of witness in Atkinson case

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020 9:00 pm

Prosecutors in the federal case against indicted Brownsville Independent School District Trustee Sylvia Atkinson are requesting that the court grant an order protecting the identity of an undercover agent.

An order on the motion signed by U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez Jr. on Thursday stated that Atkinson “does not oppose some of the requested protective measures” but is entitled to know the agent’s identity for the purpose of cross-examination.

Rodriguez ordered an in-camera review of additional information regarding any ongoing or future investigations the undercover agent may be involved in that would be compromised without the requested protective measures, “as well as the true identity of the undercover agent,” Rodriguez wrote.

A review of the matter was ordered to take place no later than April 6, according to court records.

Atkinson was arrested in December after a federal grand jury handed down an indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, and six counts of travel act-state law bribery.

An incident referred to in the indictment as “The Movie Project” involved Atkinson allegedly soliciting and accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent posing as an employee of Pink Ape Media, an advertising and film production company based in Brownsville.

The order filed in court on Thursday made no reference to the alleged event.

Atkinson has pleaded not guilty and is currently set to go to trial on May 11.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com

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