A Houston federal grand jury has formally indicted a local state district judge on bribery charges.
On Wednesday, jurors found there to be enough evidence and returned a six-count indictment alleging that Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, judge of the 93rd state District Court, took bribes on at least three different occasions and did so while using a phone, the indictment states.
Delgado faces three counts of federal program bribery and three counts of violating the travel act, according to the indictment.
The indictment outlines three incidents in which Delgado took bribes in exchange for a favorable decision for the client of a local attorney.
In the first incident, Delgado solicited and accepted cash from an attorney in a case involving a federal program. Delgado allegedly ordered the client’s arrest in June 2016 after that person failed to meet the conditions of their release, but an arrest was not made until December 2016.
After the arrest, the attorney “paid Delgado approximately $260 in U.S. currency in exchange for Delgado’s agreement to release (the client) on a personal bond,” the indictment reads.
In a second incident, the judge is alleged to have taken a bribe in exchange for granting a lawyer’s client a personal bond and his release from jail, the court record states.
The last alleged bribe, where more than $5,000 was given to Delgado, took place in January of this year.
In this incident, the same attorney as in the first incident, but representing a different client, “paid Delgado approximately $5,500,” the court record states. “…Delgado granted (the client) a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and … was released from jail.”
The three counts of violating the travel act are based on the allegation that Delgado used a phone to complete the alleged deals with the attorney.
Delgado who has served as state judge since 2004, was most recently campaigning for a seat on the 13th Court of Appeals.
Late Thursday evening the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended Delgado without pay until further notice from the commission.
More than 13 years ago the commission suspended Delgado after he was arrested in connection with driving while intoxicated.
His suspension was lifted less than four months later after the charges were dismissed.
Last week Delgado was granted a motion to have his two local attorneys replaced with San Antonio attorney Michael W. McCrum after government prosecutors requested the court resolve what they believed was a conflict of interest stemming from Adolfo “Al” Alvarez’s representation of Delgado.
The 64-year-old Edinburg resident, who has been free on a $100,000 bond since his intial appearance in McAllen federal court in early February, is expected to be arraigned March 9 in Houston before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan, according to court notes.
If convicted of the bribery charges, Delgado faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines.