Ex-state court judge to report to prison

Co-conspirator, government’s witness also reports to prison

McALLEN — A former judge is expected to report for his first day in federal prison Tuesday to begin his 60-month sentence.

After unsuccessfully requesting two additional months to turn himself in, Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado is set to report to the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth in connection with his guilty conviction on federal bribery charges.

The court denied Delgado’s extension request on Nov. 8, denying his request to surrender at a later time, specifically Jan. 18, as Delgado, according to a filing, was in the process of selling his home.

“The defendant claims he needs this additional time to continue to attempt to sell his home and to assist his lawyer in reviewing trial transcripts for appeal. The United States does not believe these reasons justify the granting of the defendant’s motion,” the opposing filing stated.

“First, the defendant has had ample time to attempt to sell his house since he was arrested in this case in February 2018, should he choose to do so. His presence is not needed to sell his property — any documents he may need to sign to finalize this transaction can be sent to him for signature or he can give power of attorney to his wife or another person to act on his behalf for any potential sale.”

Delgado has been on bond release since a federal jury returned guilty verdicts on bribery charges for the ex-judge July 11, after a six-day trial in connection with allegations that he bribed a local attorney named Noe Perez.

Perez, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges in May 2018, and was the government’s star witness throughout the proceedings, is also expected to report to a federal bureau of prisons facility, but in California, according to Perez’s attorney.

Perez was handed a 24-month prison sentence for his role, and ultimately, a reduced sentence for his cooperation in helping federal prosecutors during the trial.

Delgado, who surprisingly won a seat to the Texas 13th Court of Appeals while under indictment, a seat he resigned from more than a week after he was convicted, maintained his innocence throughout; but apologized during his sentencing hearing Sept. 30.

“I am ashamed of what (jurors) heard, of what came out of my mouth,” Delgado said.

A longtime judge, Delgado served as a judge in Hidalgo County since the late 80s — elected and re-elected multiple times to the state district court beginning in 2000, records show.

Prior to his arrest and subsequent conviction, Delgado presided over the 93rd state District Court for more than 16 years after being elected to the bench in 2001.

But during his time on the bench, Delgado faced both personal and professional problems.

In 2002, he nearly lost his job following a DWI arrest in Edinburg. In 2005, the charges were dropped, but Delgado was re-indicted on evading arrest and misuse of information charges later that year. This led to his first suspension from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

He’s also had his share of tragedies during his tenure.

In February 2017, Delgado’s son, former Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Ricco Damian Delgado, was found dead in an Austin creek following a stint in a drug rehabilitation center. Before his death, the judge’s son had several run-ins with law enforcement as well.

A decade earlier, another one of Delgado’s sons, Roman David Delgado, died in a car crash in McAllen at the age of 16.

The 66-year-old ex-judge will serve a 60-month prison sentence; followed by two years of supervised release, court notes show.