RICHMOND, Va. — On Tuesday, a school board member here was found guilty by a judge of passing a stopped school bus outside a school that serves special-needs students last month, Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Tichi Pinkney Eppes, a board member for Richmond Public Schools, said that when she approached the school bus, which was parked with its stop arm extended, she put her van in park and waited for about five minutes, and that the bus appeared to be empty, according to the newspaper. After receiving the citation, Eppes said she asked the school for reports that show the bus was late that morning and the driver had probably escorted the children inside, Richmond-Times Dispatch reports.

The police officer who issued the citation testified that he saw Eppes drive around the bus and that there were children exiting at the time, according to the newspaper. Several other motorists cited by the officer for the same offense pleaded guilty and each received a $100 fine, but the judge lowered the amount of Eppes’ citation to $25 based on her account of the incident.

After her court hearing, Eppes vowed to appeal her conviction on one count of reckless driving and said she is planning to gather evidence that supports her claim that the bus was empty, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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