Federally-Indicted Judge Won't Keep Position after Being Sworn in

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MCALLEN – The fate of the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4 is uncertain.

Federally-indicted Rodolfo "Rudy" Delgado took the oath of office Wednesday, but won't be able to keep the position. 

Moments after he took the oath, orders were signed to remove him from the position.

On Wednesday, there was no formal announcement of Delgado's swearing-in ceremony for the position of 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4; instead, it happened quietly around noon.

That's what the Clerk of the Court for the 13th Court of Appeals told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Moments after the oath, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct signed an order to suspend him without pay, again. 

In Mar. 2018, the SCJC issued an order to remove Delgado from the 93rd District Court.

It happened three days after his federal indictment was made public late February.

The commission cited the federal charges of bribery and violating the Travel Act. 

Delgado maintained a low profile.

In spite of that, he won the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4 seat in November. Straight-ticket voting is suspected to have given him that win. 

Once the order of suspension is formally announced, it's suspected the position will be left up to the Governor's Office of Appointment to fill.

Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor for Gov. Greg Abbott, John Wittman said they are tasked with that job.

"Traditionally," he says, "what would happen is someone would submit a resignation letter. And once we have that physical letter in hand, we are able to then begin the process of making that appointment."

Anyone who wishes to be considered for the job can submit an application to the office. The process consists of interviewing and screening all potential candidates.

There's no deadline on how long it will take to fill the vacancy.

"Some may take only a couple of weeks. Some, it may take a month. It just depends on the position. It depends on the number of applicants and it depends on the qualifications of the applicants,” Wittman explains.

He says they welcome anyone qualified to apply. 

Jaime Tijerina, who narrowly lost to Delgado in the 13th Court of Appeals, Place 4 race, tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS he already submitted his name for Abbott's consideration to fill that office.

That's how he was selected the last time to replace Delgado in the 93rd District Court. 


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