Current and former Brownsville ISD school board trustees testify during bribery case

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Federal prosecutors called three current and former members of the Brownsville school board as witnesses Wednesday in the bribery case against school board Trustee Sylvia P. Atkinson.

Trustee Philip T. Cowen, Trustee Laura Perez-Reyes and former Trustee Cesar Lopez took the witness stand Wednesday.

Atkinson is accused of accepting bribes during an FBI sting operation. In exchange, she placed an item on the school board agenda and pushed her fellow trustees to approve it.

Atkinson pleaded not guilty.

On Wednesday, Perez-Reyes testified that something didn't seem right about the agenda item.

When she asked the superintendent about the item, Perez-Reyes said she had the impression that Atkinson had strong-armed the superintendent into placing the item on the agenda.

Cowen said he didn't know about the allegations involving Atkinson. Had he known, Cowen said he would have contacted the Brownsville ISD Police Department.

Watch the video for the full story.


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