MCALLEN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A former state district judge in South Texas could spend up to 70 years in federal prison after being convicted of accepting bribes for favorable rulings.

Rodolfo Delgado of Edinburg was convicted Thursday of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, federal program bribery and travel act bribery.

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“The bribery of a judge may be the worst break of the publics’ trust in government,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. ”Rudy Delgado used his position to enrich himself. He didn’t just tip the scales of justice, he knocked it over with a wad of cash and didn’t look back.”

Investigators say Delgado, from 2008 to late 2016, conspired with a lawyer and accepted bribes, then tried to fake a story about the payments.

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Delgado was elected to the bench in 2000. He was indicted in February 2018. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended him the following month. Delgado resigned in April 2018.

Delgado was elected to a state appeals court last November, but was suspended after being sworn in.

The 65-year-old was tried in McAllen and remains free pending sentencing, which is scheduled for September 25.

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