Delgado lawyer asks for continuance in bribery case

McALLEN — The trial of a state judge accused of bribery could take place later this year.

That news comes after counsel for Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado filed for a continuance Monday that would take the trial to late August at the earliest.

Citing “voluminous documents and recordings,” of discovery to sift through, Delgado’s attorney, Michael W. McCrum filed a motion for continuance in his client’s federal bribery trial — currently set for a month from now, records show.

“… The government provided six computer disks of discovery, containing voluminous documents and recordings,” the motion states.

In the motion, McCrum makes mention of the government’s plan to provide more documents of discovery this week.

“Government counsel indicated that undersigned counsel should expect this second production of discovery also to be voluminous.”

Representatives for the government also noted a superseding indictment is “possible,” the motion states.

McCrum noted he would be tied up in separate trials in the months of May, June, July and August, and asked the court to consider a new trial setting for his client on Aug. 27, Sept. 10 or Oct. 1, court records show.

“Because of all of the above factors, government counsel and undersigned counsel are in agreement that a request to continue the trial setting is appropriate,” the motion filed Monday states.

It was just a month ago that a Houston grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Delgado, alleging that the longtime judge took bribes on at least three different occasions.

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.

Following the indictment, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended Delgado without pay until further notice from the commission.

The 64-year-old Edinburg resident, who has been free on a $100,000 bond since his initial appearance in McAllen federal court in early February, was expected to be arraigned March 9 in Houston before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan but Delgado pleaded not guilty in a motion filed March 5 and did not appear before the court, court records show.

If convicted of the bribery charges, Delgado faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Delgado’s trial, once set, is expected to take about a week to complete, the record states.

A decision from the court on the motion for continuance is expected later this week.