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Brownsville ISD school board censures trustee

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Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

After nearly four hours in executive session, the Brownsville Independent School District school board decided to censure trustee Minerva Pena late Tuesday night.

It’s unclear what the reason is for the censure, but Brownsville ISD board members also plan to refer the matter to the Cameron County District Attorney's office for investigation.

A second censure with a notice of trespassing was also on Tuesday night's agenda, but it was dismissed due to new evidence presented in executive session.

Pena spoke out at Tuesday night's meeting, deciding to voluntarily remove herself from anything district-related, except board meetings.

"Out of courtesy and respect in order to avoid the appearance of conflict, I have decided to avoid all district events except for the board committee meetings or the board meetings until the district attorney concludes its final investigation,” Pena said.

Brownsville ISD sent Channel 5 News a statement shortly after the meeting, saying the district does not comment on ongoing investigations. The district added they are aware of the current referral to the Cameron County District Attorney’s office and that they will be cooperating with local authorities.

Read the district’s statement below:

"As a matter of procedure, the Brownsville Independent School District (Brownsville ISD) does not comment on ongoing investigations.

We are aware of the current referral to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office concerning Board of Trustee Member Minerva Pena. Trustee Pena has voluntarily removed herself from district events and activities until the conclusion of the investigation. The district will be cooperating with the local authorities.

The district’s focus will remain, as it always has, on the education of students. Brownsville ISD will continue to direct all efforts towards maintaining the safety and well-being of students and employees as a number one priority during the challenging times posed by this pandemic."

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