Court grants motion as ex-judge’s bribery trial delayed again

Docs: Defense attorney asks for more time to prepare

Rodolfo "Rudy" Delgado reads a prepared statement announcing his resignation as judge of the 93rd state District Court Monday, April 30, 2018, at the Hidalgo County Courthouse in Edinburg. Delgado has been the presiding judge of the court since January 2001. (The Monitor)

 

McALLEN — The federal trial for a former state district judge accused of bribery has been delayed until the summer.

The court granted Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado a continuance Friday in his trial, delaying jury selection and the beginning of the trial until July 1, court documents show.

Delgado’s attorney, Michael W. McCrum, filed a motion for continuance Wednesday, citing lack of time to prepare for the Feb. 25 start date set for the trial that has already been delayed once before.

The court granted a continuance in August 2018 that set the most recent Feb. 25 trial date.

The filing states that due to McCrum’s participation in a federal case in the Laredo division of the Southern District of Texas, he would not have time to prepare for Delgado’s trial.

The trial, already considered a complex one at its onset, was estimated to run at least two weeks but is currently in its third, with it expected to go through Feb. 4, the documents state.

“…The Jaggi trial is now in its third week, and will undoubtedly continue through next week and likely into the week of Feb. 4. Had the Jaggi trial finished as expected, undersigned counsel would have had enough time to prepare,” the record shows. “Given the complexity of the instant case, however, the extended nature of the Jaggi trial is significantly impacting undersigned counsel’s ability to adequately prepare for the instant Delgado trial.”

The decision to delay the trial another six months comes on the heels of a filing on Delgado’s behalf, asking the court to reconsider the trial’s venue. This was the second such attempt since his indictment on bribery charges last February.

In the 10-page motion, McCrum asked for the court to reconsider its October 2018 decision to deny his request for a venue change. Delgado sought then to hold his trial in McAllen instead of Houston.

Read the motion for continuance here.

In addition to family travel issues, McCrum cited a newly proposed policy regarding the very issue at hand for his client — the rules for where the prosecution and trial will take place.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas is currently soliciting public comments on the proposed criminal rule, titled “Criminal Local Rule 18 — Place of Trial Within The District,” with submissions due on Feb. 15, according to the court’s website

McCrum asked the court in the motion to reconsider a venue change based on the proposed rule.

A date for the court’s decision on the reconsideration motion was not published in the record.