McALLEN — The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has suspended
state District Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado without pay following his
indictment on bribery and violating the federal Travel Act.
The commission said its order is effective immediately.
Federal investigators allege that Delgado, 64, accepted
bribes between November 2016 and January of this year in exchange for
favorable judicial consideration on cases pending in his court. Delgado
was charged with three counts of bribery and three counts of violating
the Travel Act on allegations that he used a phone to broker the alleged
bribes, according to the indictment.
The first bribe allegedly occurred in December 2016, when
an attorney paid Delgado $260 in exchange for releasing the attorney’s
client on a personal bond, the indictment alleges. The attorney paid
Delgado $260 in cash again in November 2017, and the judge released
another client from the Hidalgo County Jail on a personal bond, the
A third bribe allegedly occurred in January, when the
attorney, wearing audio and video recording devices, gave Delgado $5,500
in cash. In all three cases Delgado released the attorney’s clients on
bond, according to the indictment.
In late January, investigators say Delgado sent a text
message to the confidential source about the envelope containing $5,500,
attempting to cover up the bribe by referring to it as a contribution,
according to court documents. Delgado had solicited campaign
contributions from the confidential source in the past.
Working with the confidential source for more than a
year, the FBI recorded phone calls and meetings between the attorney and
Delgado, who was elected to serve as a state district
judge for the 93rd Judicial District in consecutive terms since 2004,
had been campaigning for a place on the 13th Court of Appeals.
Delgado has been free on a $100,000 bond since his
initial appearance last month in federal court in McAllen. His
arraignment is schedule for later this month in Houston before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Christina A. Bryan.