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      Sylvia Handy pleads no contest to state charges

      Sylvia Handy in court

      Former Hidalgo County Commissioner Sylvia Handy pleaded no contest to several state charges in connection to the Phantom Employee scandal.

      The former Precinct 1 Commissioner and her attorneys appeared before Judge Roberto "Bobby" Flores in the 139th State District Court for a hearing on Thursday morning.

      Handy is one of several people accused of creating ficticious county timesheets and use the paychecks to pay for illegal immigrants to work at her house as maids or babysitters.

      The former elected official had already served two and a half years in federal prison on federal charges related to the scandal.

      But during the Thursday morning hearing, Handy pleaded "no contest" to eight state charges including theft and engaging in organized criminal activity.

      Sentencing started immediately after Handy's plea. Prosecutors are expected to call six witnesses for sentencing.

      Action 4 News will provide updates as they become available.