MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A state district judge in South Texas accepted bribes for several years in exchange for favorable rulings in cases he oversaw, according to federal prosecutors.
Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado appeared in federal court in McAllen on Monday to face a bribery charge. Online records indicate he’s no longer being held at the Hidalgo County jail.
He was arrested Friday following a search by FBI agents of his Edinburg home and offices at the Hidalgo County courthouse.
A criminal complaint reveals the FBI has been investigating Delgado since 2016 and used as an informant an attorney who argued criminal cases before the judge. An FBI affidavit filed with the complaint said the informant had paid bribes to Delgado as far back as 2008. Those bribes were made in cash or in valuable items.
The bribes would be arranged by telephone, utilizing coded language, and would be paid in person, according to the affidavit.
In at least two cases, the informant said he bribed Delgado in return for favorable bond settings for clients facing criminal charges. In both cases, Delgado placed the clients on bond after the bribe was paid.
The affidavit said the informant bribed Delgado as recently as Jan. 17, when he paid Delgado $5,500 in a transaction captured by federal audio and video recording equipment. The next day, Delgado placed the informant’s client on bond.
A message left for his attorney, Al Alvarez, was not immediately returned.