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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Judge Delgado Convicted

HOUSTON – A federal jury has convicted a Texas state district judge of bribery, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick and Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The jury convicted Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 65, of Edinburg, following a six-day trial of one count of conspiracy, three counts of federal program bribery, three counts of travel act bribery and one count of obstruction of justice.

“The bribery of a judge may be the worst break of the publics’ trust in government,” said Patrick. ”Rudy Delgado used his position to enrich himself. He didn’t just tip the scales of justice, he knocked it over with a wad of cash and didn’t look back. Delgado’s actions unfairly tarnish all his former colleagues.”

“No one – especially a judge – is above the law,” said Benczkowski. “Corrupt judges erode the confidence we have in our judicial system, but this verdict goes a long way in restoring that confidence.”

Delgado is currently a justice in the 13th Court of Appeals for the State of Texas. He was previously the presiding judge for the 93rd District Court for the State of Texas, which has jurisdiction over Texas criminal and civil cases located within Hidalgo County. As a district judge, Delgado conspired with an attorney from January 2008 to November 2016 to accept bribes in exchange for favorable judicial consideration on criminal cases pending in his courtroom. 

As part of the investigation, Delgado also accepted bribes on three separate occasions in exchange for agreeing to release three of the attorney’s clients on bond in cases pending before his court. The first two bribes totaled approximately $520 in cash and the third bribe - in January 2018 - totaled approximately $5,500.

After Delgado learned of the FBI’s investigation, he also attempted to obstruct justice by contacting the attorney and providing a false story about the payments.

Sentencing has been set for Sept. 25, 2019. Delgado was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arthur “Rob” Jones and Robert Guerra are prosecuting the case along with Trial Attorney Peter Nothstein of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

Topic(s): 
Public Corruption
Component(s): 
Updated July 12, 2019