Feds Accuse Texas Judge of Taking Bribes
SAN ANTONIO (CN) - A former Bexar County judge took bribes from an attorney for lenient and favorable rulings for criminal defendants, a federal indictment alleges.
Angus Kelly McGinty, 50, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to commit federal programs bribery, one count of federal programs bribery, one count of extortion under color of official right and 12 counts of honest services wire fraud.
If convicted, McGinty faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. He resigned from the bench in February.
The seat of Bexar County is San Antonio.
Prosecutors claim that between January and September 2013, McGinty accepted cash and automobile repairs from attorney Alberto Acevedo in San Antonio. McGinty allegedly accepted more than $6,000 worth of services and repairs to his 1992 Mercedes Benz 300CE and 2001 Mercedes Benz S340.
"In exchange for bribes from Acevedo, Angus Kelly McGinty used his official position to provide favorable judicial rulings and actions which benefitted Acevedo and his clients," the 18-page indictment states. "These favorable judicial rulings and actions which benefited Acevedo and his clients included leniency at sentencing and less restrictive conditions of release."
Prosecutors claim McGinty tried to cover up "his corrupt activities" by privately accepting "things of value" from Acevedo, entertaining ex parte requests from Acevedo on behalf of his clients and failing to disclose the gifts in personal financial disclosures, among other things.
After one such ex parte request, McGinty allegedly issued an order in May 16, 2013, that waived an ankle monitor and a secure continuous remote alcohol monitor (SCRAM) device as conditions for release.
The unidentified client had been arrested and charged for the third time for driving while intoxicated while on probation for intoxication assault - he was later arrested on a theft charge.
Four months later, McGinty allegedly granted Acevedo's motion for reconsideration of sentencing for another unidentified client who was charged for a third DUI. McGinty converted his sentence from 3 years in state prison to 4 years of community service, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors accuse McGinty of committing 34 "overt acts," including favorable rulings and inquiries he made to Acevedo regarding the status of automobile repairs.
Acevedo pleaded guilty on March to a felony information charging him with bribery involving a program receiving federal funds. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Acevedo remains free on bond. His sentencing date has not been scheduled.