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Cameron County DA’s Office Makes Confusing Move in Brownsville ISD Board Member Case
The Cameron County DA’s Office has made another change of pace in the nepotism case affecting Brownsville ISD Board Member Minerva Pena.
To start, on October 21, 2021, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed an indictment naming Minerva Pena into the 404th Cameron County District Court. She was charged with one count of nepotism. This charge is a class c misdemeanor.
On November 4, 2021, the Cameron County DA’s Office submitted a document titled, “States Notice of Collateral Consequence of Conviction.” The document, as previously published by us, outlined the consequences if Pena would be convicted. This document was filed before Pena was arraigned. She received arraignment on November 12, 2021.
Cameron County DA’s Case is Quashed
On February 24, 2022, Pena, through her attorney, filed a “Motion to Quash Indictment or in the Alternative Motion that the Indictment be Amended.” The Cameron County DA’s Office filed its response to the motion, titled “States Response to Defendant’s Motion to Quash,” on March 21, 2022. A motion to set a hearing on the motion to quash was ordered and a hearing commenced on March 25, 2022. The presiding judge did not initially render an opinion.
On March 31, 2022, it was ordered the Cameron County DA’s indictment be quashed; however the order was not filed until after 30 days. This prevented the Cameron County DA’s Office from perfecting an appeal to the order quashing the indictment. The Cameron County DA’s Office initially filed its notice of appeal on May 2, 2022.
Cameron County DA’s Office Motions Dismissal of Appeal
Soon after, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed the notice of appeal, the 13th Court of Appeals notified the Cameron County DA’s Office that it did not perfect its appeal. The 13th Court of Appeals requested the Cameron County DA’s Office to provide remedies to the appeal issue. The 13th Court of Appeals assigned cause 13-22-00206 to the appeal.
In order to correct the deficiencies the Cameron County DA’s Office filed a “Motion to Rescind,” the order to quash the indictment. The motion was filed on May 9, 2022, and on May 10, 2022, the presiding judge granted the motion to rescind and issued a new order to quash the indictment.
After the order was reissued by the presiding judge, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed a “Request for Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law.” This document, in simplest terms , is used to identify the reasons a decision or order was given.
However, on May 11, 2022, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed a document titled, “State’s Motion to Dismiss Appeal from Cause No. 2021-DCR-02482-G in the 404th Judicial District Court Cameron County, Texas.” The motion provided the following: “Having reviewed the facts of this case and applicable law, the State of Texas concludes that dismissal of the appeal is in the interest of justice.”
As of June 4, 2022, the 13th Court of Appeals has yet to render a decision on the motion to dismiss.
Cameron County DA’s Office Files New Appeal
However, on May 18, 2022, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed a new appeal. The 13th Court of Appeals provided cause 13-22-00229-CR.
On June 1, 2022, the Cameron County DA’s Office filed a “Notice of Past Due Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law,” in the trial court. This is a process to identify the trial court has yet to provide its reasoning for its opinion or order.
Now we wait to see what the 13th Court of Appeals will do. It is just confusing when it appears the Cameron County DA’s Office could have corrected the deficiencies; as requested by the higher court, rather than file a new appeal.
A Couple of Our Other Reads
You may be interested in reading about a prior Cameron County Area Police Chief claims he was fired due to retaliation.
Or you may be interested in reading about a prior Cameron County Area Mayor that used his own private email server to conduct city business, and now there is a request for his emails.