FBI Sting Takes Down Texas Judge On Bribery Charges

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Federal authorities arrested a Texas state judge after he allegedly accepted more than $6,000 in bribes for favorable rulings, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 64, presides over the 93rd District Court for the State of Texas. An unnamed attorney with whom Delgado had frequent dealings allegedly bribed him on three separate occasions in exchange for “favorable judicial consideration,” the DOJ alleges. FBI special agents had been investigating the judge since November 2016 using the unnamed attorney as an informant, according to the complaint.

The attorney admitted to repeatedly bribing Delgado going back to 2008. Working with FBI special agent Peter Kilpatrick, the attorney, referred to as “confidential human source” (CHS), bribed Delgado twice with amounts totaling $525. CHS then conducted a third bribe of $5,500.

CHS contacted Delgado to meet in a restaurant in South Texas and brought an envelope full of federally provided cash, that Delgado accepted. The following day, Delgado provided one of CHS’s clients with a favorable ruling. The FBI investigators then claimed Delgado tried to pass off the bribe as a campaign contribution, sending a text to CHS.

“Good evening. Please call me,” the text read. “The campaign contribution needs to be by check. I need to return that to you so you can write a check. Sorry for the confusion, I thought you knew and I did not open the envelope till today.”

Kilpatrick believes Delgado was on to the investigation and was trying to cover his tracks, citing the fact that the envelope contained 50 $100 bills and 25 $20 bills, was roughly half an inch thick and could hardly be thought to contain a check.

Delgado was permitted release from a federal court after posting a $100,000 bond.

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