A Texas state district judge has been ordered to federal prison following his multiple convictions of conspiracy, bribery and obstructing justice.
The disgraced former Texas judge, Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, and a corrupt lawyer who paid him thousands of dollars in bribes to go easy on his clients were both hit with federal jail time this week, according to reports.
A federal jury in Houston convicted Delgado, 66, of Edinburg, July 11, following a six-day trial of one count of conspiracy, three counts of federal program bribery, three counts of travel act bribery and one count of obstruction of justice. Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett handed Delgado a 60-month sentence to be immediately followed by two years of supervised release.
At the hearing, the court heard additional evidence and testimony that detailed the value of the bribery activities and its impact on South Texas. In handing down the sentence, the court noted that a corrupt judge, who abuses the trust the public placed in him to enrich himself, undermines the integrity of the entire criminal justice system and tears at the very fabric of our society.
Former judge Delgado was sentenced to five years in prison Wednesday for giving crooked lawyer Noe Perez’s clients a break in his courtroom for up to eight years.
Perez, who cooperated with the FBI, got two years, The Monitor newspaper reported.
The lawyer reportedly slipped the judge cash hidden inside six-packs of beer and at one point gave him a pickup truck worth $15,000 to establish a line of “credit,” according to Fox.
Corrupt attorney Noe Perez who initiated the bribery scheme was jailed for two years after cooperating with the FBI
The cash bribes were as little as $520 and as much as $5,500, the US Attorney’s Office in Texas said.
The payoff scheme ran from 2008 to 2016, while Delgado was the presiding judge for the 93rd District Court of Texas, which handled criminal and civil cases in Hidalgo County.
Delgado who was a justice in the 13th Court of Appeals for the State of Texas, resigned from that position following his conviction.
He was elected to the Court of Appeals in November 2018. Prior to that, he was the presiding judge for the 93rd District Court for the State of Texas, which has jurisdiction over Texas criminal and civil cases located within Hidalgo County.
As a district judge, Delgado conspired with an attorney from January 2008 to November 2016 to accept bribes in exchange for favorable judicial consideration on criminal cases pending in his courtroom.
As part of the investigation, Delgado also accepted bribes on three separate occasions in exchange for agreeing to release three of the attorney’s clients on bond in cases pending before his court. The first two bribes totaled approximately $520 in cash and the third bribe – in January 2018 – totaled approximately $5,500.
After Delgado learned of the FBI’s investigation, he also attempted to obstruct justice by contacting the attorney and providing a false story about the payments.
“The sentencing of Delgado sends a strong message to any public official who chooses to serve him or herself rather than their community,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said.