Testimony wraps up in Atkinson bribery trial, closing arguments start Wednesday
Testimony in the federal bribery case against Brownsville school board Trustee Sylvia P. Atkinson wrapped up earlier than expected on Tuesday after two witnesses called by the defense — including Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez — didn't appear in court.
Atkinson is accused of accepting a $10,000 bribe during a FBI sting operation. In exchange for the money, Atkinson placed an item on the school board agenda and pushed other trustees to approve it.
A grand jury indicted Atkinson on bribery charges. She pleaded not guilty.
Before they wrapped up their case, prosecutors played tapes from a separate investigation that involved Texas Southmost College Trustee Adela Garza.
In the tapes, Atkinson and Garza discuss a scheme to profit from a company that wanted to do business with the Brownsville Independent School District.
The recordings also captured Atkinson and Garza discussing a scheme to set up a company called "Sunshine Solutions" to collect commissions from the deal.
Closing arguments are scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Correction: This story misstated the name of Brownsville's mayor. He is Trey Mendez, not Trey Martinez.
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