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A legal battle between a South Texas district attorney and a judge isn’t over yet. Judge Rodolfo Delgado of Edinburg returned to his 93rd District Court bench on June 12, the day after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct lifted a more than two-year suspension of him. The commission had suspended Delgado after a grand jury indicted him in 2005. The commission lifted the suspension after Senior Judge Joaquin Villareal of Robstown dismissed the two charges of evading arrest and misuse of official information in State v. Delgado on June 7 in response to Delgado’s Motion to Dismiss Indictment for Outrageous Government Conduct. “I’m appealing the dismissal, which I thought was ill-advised and not founded in law,” says Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra. McAllen solo Adolfo “Al” Alvarez Jr., Delgado’s attorney, says, “An appeal would just be sour grapes at this point.” Delgado alleged in his motion for dismissal of the charges that Guerra has abused the grand jury system — an allegation Guerra denies. “We have run the most ethical grand juries in the state in the last 25 years,” Guerra says. Guerra says he wants a trial for Delgado, because dropping the case would look bad to the public. Guerra says Delgado is one of his former assistant district attorneys and that Delgado’s brother is married to Guerra’s cousin. The story began in September 2002, when an Edinburg police officer arrested Delgado for allegedly driving while intoxicated, a Class B misdemeanor, and evading arrest, a state jail felony. According to Delgado’s motion, a 206th grand jury returned a no bill in November 2002, declining to indict Delgado on the evading arrest charge. Alvarez says Delgado did not try to evade arrest and had stopped his car 200 yards from the spot where the officer turned on his lights and siren. Guerra charged Delgado with the misdemeanor DWI offense, which the prosecutor did not have to present to the grand jury, by filing a complaint and information in January 2003, but Judge Daniel Robles, a visiting judge from Brownsville, dismissed the charge in 2005 on the ground that Delgado had not received a speedy trial. In February 2005, a 398th District Court grand jury indicted Delgado for evading arrest and misuse of official information. Guerra contends Delgado is using the police department’s confidential offense report from the September 2002 arrest in a federal suit, Delgado v. Rivas, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District in McAllen. Delgado filed the suit seeking damages against the arresting officer, the city of Edinburg, and other city and police officials for, among other things, alleged civil rights violations. Delgado alleged in his motion for dismissal in State v. Delgado that he informed Guerra about receiving the offense report. Guerra says his office filed a notice of appeal with the 13th Court of Appeals on June 12 and predicts it could take up to five years for the case to make its way through the appellate process.

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