If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
After days of speculation, a federal magistrate unsealed the criminal complaint against state District Judge Rudy Delgado on Monday — detailing a decade-long bribery scheme.
The five-page criminal complaint accuses Delgado of accepting bribes from an attorney who wanted court favors. Apparently unbeknownst to Delgado, the attorney had become a federal informant.
A loquacious jurist from a large and politically influential family, 64-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado presides over the 93rd state district court in Edinburg. He’s also running as a Democrat for the 13th Court of Appeals.
During an interview with FBI agents, an attorney who had known Delgado for nearly 20 years confessed to bribing him several times since 2008. The FBI started investigating.
While agents watched, the attorney arranged meetings with Delgado and bribed him with cash provided by the FBI.
Delgado initially accepted two bribes worth $520, according to the criminal complaint. After accepting the money, Delgado placed the attorney’s client on bond.
The attorney bribed Delgado again on Jan. 17, handing the judge a white envelope with $5,500 cash.
“Delgado acknowledged and accepted the bribe,” according to the criminal complaint. “Delgado then asked for the name of the client and the case number.”
On Jan. 29, though, Delgado texted the attorney.
“Good evening, please call me. The campaign contribution needs to be by check,” Delgado wrote, according to the criminal complaint. “I need to return that to you so you can write a check. Sorry about the confusion, I though (sic) you knew and I did not open the envelope till today.”
Fearing that Delgado knew about the sting operation, FBI agents arrested him on Friday. The FBI also searched Delgado’s home and courtroom, causing a stir at the Hidalgo County Courthouse.
Many attorneys spent the weekend speculating about what, exactly, Delgado did — and whether the FBI had informants among them.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a motion to unseal the criminal complaint Monday morning, when Delgado appeared in court.
Delgado is charged with one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker set bond at $100,000 with a $2,500 deposit required.
Delgado left the courthouse Monday after his brother, Dr. Luis Delgado Jr., posted the $2,500 deposit, according to federal court records. Accompanied by his attorney, Al Alvarez, the judge made a brief statement before leaving the parking lot.
“I intend to let the judicial process take its course,” Delgado said.