Two weeks of testimony, evidence, and cross examinations in the case against five former El Paso Independent School District administrators ended abruptly on Wednesday when U.S. Federal Court Judge David Briones granted the motion for a mistrial, after prosecutors failed to provide the defense with documents.
Those facing federal charges are Nancy Love, Diane Thomas and Mark Philip Tegmeyer, former assistant principals at Austin High School; James Anderson, former Associate Superintendent and John Tanner, former principal at Austin High School.
More than 249 pages of evidence was provided to defense attorneys late on June 25.
Witnesses had testified that during 2009 to 2013, directives were given by school administrators Tanner, Anderson, Love, Thomas and Tegmeyer, to manipulate student attendance records, keep students in the 9th grade for a year and then skipping them to the 11th grade in an effort to skirt accountability measures.
Defense attorneys argued that the documents contained relevant information about possible motives former Austin High School Counselor Elizabeth Saucedo, counselor Rosario Parsley and Austin High School autoshop instructor Ruben Cordero may have had to be biased in their testimony.
Saucedo had testified on June 23. Parsley testified on June 27, and it was expected that Cordero was also going to testify. The documents also, indicated that there was relevant information about Cordero that could have been used by the defense to show that he was not fired out of any alleged retaliation.
By clicking the ‘play’ button above, you can listen to the summary of how defense attorneys and U.S. Attorney Debra Kanof responded to the mistrial ruling; links to our previous coverage HERE