Delgado's Newly-Elected Position Remains Occupied Despite Suspension
WESLACO – He was sworn in and quickly suspended, now the state waits for a resignation.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported on Wednesday former district judge and recently elected appeals court Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Delgado was sworn in as judge in Place 4, on the 13th Court of Appeals.
He was suspended just a few hours after that swearing in. Technically, he still holds office
Delgado signed the Statement of Officer Wednesday after taking the oath.
It's a standard form that reads:
"I, Rodolfo Delgado, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I have not directly or indirectly paid, offered, promised to pay, contributed, or promised to contribute any money or thing of value, or promised any public office or employment for the giving or withholding of a vote at the election at which I was elected or as a reward to secure my appointment or confirmation, whichever the case may be, so help me God."
Shortly after this signing, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct took action.
By early afternoon, the SCJC voted to suspend Delgado from the seat without pay based on a federal indictment accusing him of taking bribes and violating the Travel Act while he was the 93rd District Court judge.
The suspension keeps Delgado from serving on the 13th Court of Appeals.
Yet, he remains the office holder.
Eric Vinson, Executive Director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, explains what happens next.
"If he is found guilty of those charges, or pleads guilty to those charges, then he'll be removed from the position automatically essentially be disqualified by operation of law,” he explains.
The only other way Delgado loses his seat is if he resigns.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS confirmed with the Office of the Governor that Delgado had not submitted a letter of resignation as of late Thursday afternoon.
The letter of resignation is required in order for the job to be considered vacant and have the Governor's Office of Appointment fill that vacancy.
For now, the office of Place 4 on the 13th Court of Appeals is still occupied by Delgado despite his suspension.
During this time, the 13th Court of Appeals Chief Justice Contreras tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS two things can happen: other appellate judges from the 13th Court of Appeals can absorb Delgado's caseload or a visiting judge can be appointed to oversee cases.
If the newly elected judge is found not guilty or charges are dismissed, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct's suspension could be reversed.
Currently, the judge is due back in court as a defendant. His trial starts in February.
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