Bexar County Courtroom Corruption

San Antonio, Texas

A federal probe has been investigating corruption in the Bexar County Courthouse. Attorney Alberto Acevedo Jr. has pleaded guilty to bribing a Judge Angus McGinty. Judge McGinty has not been formally charged, but has resigned in February, 2014. 

Hundreds of letters were sent out notifying people with connections to the Bexar County Courthouse that their phones were subject to a wiretap. The investigators have allegedly recorded a conversation between Judge McGinty and Attorney Acevado where an agreement was made to exchange car repairs for reducing the bond of Acevado's clients. 

There has been no confirmation to what sparked the investigation, but Travis Mendiola, a former client of Acevado, claims that he was the first whisle-blower. He played an audio recording where he alleged a troubling relationship between Al Acevado and Judge Monica Guerrero. Guerrero was voted out of office in 2010, and has not been indicated as a subject of the investigation.  

Current Status

  • Sentence for Attorney Alberto Acevedo Jr. scheduled
  • Investigation still ongoing 

Players

Judge Angus McGinty

  • Former 144th District Judge
  • Attorney Alberto Acevedo pleaded guilty to bribing the Judge (1) 

Alberto "Al" Acevedo Jr.

  • Attorney In San Antonio
  • Pleaded Guilty to bribing Judge Angus McGinty (1) 

Judge Monica Guerrero

  • Reported to FBI by Travis Mendiola (6)
  • Allegedly ordered that guns used in the commission of a crime be turned over to Attorney Alberto Acevedo in place of attorney fees (6)
  • Issued a public admonition for accepting San Antonio Spurs tickets from an Attorney (6)
  • Voted out of office during the 2010 election (6) 

Travis Mendiola

  • Claims to be the first whistle-blower in the Judge bribery scheme (6)
  • Convicted in 2009 of deadly conduct (6)
  • His gun was initially order to be destroyed, but later Judge Monica Guerrero ordered the gun and a rifle belonging to Mendiola be given to his Attorney, Alberto Acevedo Jr., instead of money Mendiola owed Acevedo. (6) 

Judge Fred Biery

  • Was scheduled to hear the case (4)
  • Opted to recuse himself (4) 

Judge Orlando Garcia

  • Opted to recuse himself (4) 

Facts

 

Investigation

  • The Investigation is being conducted by the New Mexico District of the U.S. Attorney's Office (3)
  • A Federal Probe into corruption at the Bexar County Courthouse (1)
  • Hundreds of wiretap notification letters were sent by federal authorities (5)
  • Allegedly caught Judge Angus McGinty in a wiretap agreeing to reduce the bond of Acevedo clients in exchange for car repairs (3) 

Allegations Against Judge Angus McGinty

  • Reduced bail on defendants in exchange for auto repairs (2)
  • Changed the sentencing for a DUI defendant for a bribe (1) 

Connection Between Judge Angus McGinty and Attorney Alberto Acevado

  • Judge McGinty has heard 45 cases involving Acevedo's clients (3)
  • Has reduced the bond of 10 clients of Al Acevado (3) 

Charges

  • Alberto Acevedo Jr. was charged with bribing a state district judge (1) 

Cases Allegedly Rigged

  • A DWI defendant of Angus McGinty, sentenced changed in September, 2013 (1) 

timeline

6/18/14 - Scheduled date for Alberto Acevado's sentencing 


3/17/14 - San Antonio Attorney, Alberto Acevado, pleaded guilty to bribing a state district judge. (1)


2/28/14 - Attorney Al Acevedo is a no show at his former client, Travis Mndiola's, writ hearing 


2/14/14 - Judge Angus McGinty resigned "for personal reasons' (1) 

Quotes

“When I was elected to serve the people of Bexar County, I had a burning desire to promote balance and fairness in our criminal justice system." - Judge Angus McGinty, in a written statement (2)


"... While some may question my actions in handling a few decisions, it is my belief that I made reasoned and thoughtful decisions in each and every case before me.” - Judge Angus McGinty, in a written statement (2)


“The things of value included cash, car repairs, the sale of a vehicle belonging to Judge McGinty, the registration of a vehicle purchased by Judge McGinty, fuel, and a car wash." - Alberto Acevedo Jr., written in his plea deal (1) 


“In exchange for these bribes, Judge McGinty provided favorable judicial rulings which benefited me and my clients. Judge McGinty provided these favorable judicial rulings as requested, and as opportunities arose. These favorable rulings included leniency at sentencing and less restrictive conditions of release." - Alberto Acevedo Jr., written in his plea deal (1) 


“Effective the close of business on Friday, February 14, 2014, I resign as Judge of the 144th Judicial District Court of Bexar County, Texas. As such, I withdraw my name for consideration for re-election.” - Judge Angus McGinty, in his letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Perry (2)


Wiretaps

 

“This letter is being sent to you as a notice that you, or someone using a telephone on which you are the listed subscriber, were intercepted pursuant to a series of federally authorized wiretaps between August 20, 2013, and November 15, 2013.” - Written in one of the letters informing that they have had their phone tapped (5) 


"That [duration of the tap mentioned in the letter] suggests the wire definitely has criminal activity on it. The judge gave them a number of extensions because he saw criminal activity. You've got one serious investigation going on.” - James Wedich, retired veteran FBI agent (5)