One of two individuals charged in connection with the alleged theft of thousands of dollars from the Greenville Independent School District has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.
Tevin Jamal Brookins, 28, of Greenville, had been indicted on a felony charge of theft of property by a public servant of the value of $2,500 or more but less than $30,000. He had pleaded not guilty and a trial date had not been set in the case. But during a Jan. 7 hearing in the 196th District Court Brookins pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft of between $750 and $2,500. Under a plea agreement, Brookins was sentenced to 56 days in the Hunt County Detention Center, with 56 days served.
As of the end of 2020, a change of venue to Rockwall County had been granted and a trial scheduled for a second defendant in the case, a former Greenville ISD official.
Special prosecutor Raegan Lambert, Assistant Attorney General with the Texas Attorney General’s Office claimed Ralph Sanders would have an unfair advantage if the trial remained at the Hunt County Courthouse.
During a hearing Nov. 19 Judge Andrew Bench with the 196th District Court met with prosecution and defense attorneys via Zoom and scheduled the trial for July 12, 2021.
Lambert was not seeking a change of venue for Brookins.
Sanders, 62, of Irving, the former GISD Chief Human Resources Officer, and Brookins were indicted by the Hunt County grand jury in August 2019, each on the theft charges.
Sanders has pleaded not guilty.
The indictments alleged that between Aug. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017, Sanders and Brookins appropriated “money, or pay or benefits” from the district during Sanders’ tenure “and such property appropriated had therefore come into Ralph Sanders’ custody, possession, or control by virtue of his status as such a public servant.”
The original charge is a third-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of two to 10 years in prison, with an optional fine of up to $10,000.
Brookins is still facing legal problems, after being arrested in November by the Greenville Police Department on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was released on Dec. 22 on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond.
The charge is a second-degree felony, punishable upon conviction by a maximum sentence of two to 20 years in prison.
Brookins had not yet been indicted in connection with the charge as of Friday and no additional information was immediately available regarding the alleged assault.