The Field Review - Local

Cameron County District Attorney Motions to Dismiss Appeal on Brownsville ISD Nepotism Case

First Administrative Assistant Edward A. Sandoval, filed a motion to dismiss in the Court of Appeals, Thirteenth Judicial District under cause 13-22-00206-CR.

The motion to dismiss is related to Minerva Pena, a Brownsville ISD board member, being indicted on a class c misdemeanor charge of nepotism. The matter was quashed by the court and the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office wanted to appeal the quashing decision.

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In leading up to being able to appeal the initial decision of the court, the order for the quashing document was filed late into the record of the court. This prevented the District Attorney’s Office from being able to appeal the dismissal.

The District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to rescind the order to quash and the court granted the motion, and reissued the order to quash. All of this has happened in a weeks timeframe.

Now, the District Attorney’s Office has requested the appeal be dismissed in the “interest of justice.”

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This was filed, on or about May 11, 2022. It is rather interesting the motion to dismiss has occurred; however, having an indictment quashed does not mean the District Attorney cannot file charges. Depending on what the District Attorney’s Office is doing, there could be some other concepts or ideologies to consider.

Our opinion, solely on the charge presented and the public facts, thereof, is the nepotism in this case may have minimal impact, if it even occurred. This is because, in our opinion, the career field of educators is highly understaffed and there appears to be no other nexus to any line of supervision or influence.

We would think there would need to be some showing of an inability to get hired at another location, or some special circumstance surrounding why this matter may be more important than cases where someone may get hired to be in a more competitive position.

Again, this opinion is formed, only on the public information, and not related to anything that may be available in other modes.

It may be a bigger deal, in our opinion, if this relative was up for some kind of promotion, and then Pena involved herself in decision making and voting, but an entry level teaching profession would not be on our radar for importance, solely based upon that fact to consider.

We believe, that single fact, if that is all there is, would potentially be hard to persuade a jury to find Pena guilty of nepotism. However, if there is another venture the District Attorney’s Office is inquiring about, then maybe all this is something they feel is valuable to consider.

We are in no way attempting to substitute our opinion with that of a licensed attorney and such information should not be taken as a substitute; however, we are simply providing an opinion on our views of the matter presented based upon the public knowledge we have obtained.

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