On Wednesday, September 25th, a longtime Texas judge was given a five year prison sentence due to a bribery scandal that took place, leading Rodolfo Delgado’s two decade judicial career to an end. Delgado was tried and convicted back in July in McAllen federal court. He was convicted of accepting cash bribes from a South Texas attorney in exchange for favorable rulings in the courtroom he presided over.
For his sentencing, Delgado stood in front of a crowded courtroom, filled with family and his supporters as U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett read his sentence; “It tears at the very fabric of our society. It gives air and weight to the people who look upon the court in suspicion that it does matter who you know and that justice can be purchased.” Delgado apologized to the community for his actions, telling the judge he was “a weak man” and continued to say, “it does not justify what I did. As a consequence I will lose my freedom.”
Bennett also ordered Delgado to serve two years of supervised release following his prison term, enroll in alcohol and drug abuse and mental health programs, as well as pay $800 to the court for special assessment fees. Noe Perez, an Edinburg attorney who became a FBI informant and key witness testified that the bribes typically ranged from $250 to $5,500 and even on one occasion, he gave Delgado a truck valued at $15,000. Perez was sentenced to only two years in prison.
Delgado’s defense attorney, Michael McCrum, asked the judge to consider Delgado’s service to the community, current age and health, and the personal family losses he has suffered as mitigating factors. However, Bennett interrupted with, “A crooked judge is a crooked judge. The public wants this to stop.”