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Former Bexar judge pleads guilty in judicial corruption case

Angus McGinty accused of taking bribes from lawyer

SAN ANTONIO – The former judge of the 144th District Court, charged in a judicial corruption case, pleaded guilty in federal court under a plea agreement calling for a two-year prison sentence, instead of the 20-year maximum.

Angus McGinty, 51, said "guilty" Monday as he stood before Federal Judge Xavier Rodriguez of San Antonio, answering to a charge of one count of honest services wire fraud.

Federal prosecutors said McGinty deprived citizens of his services as a judge "by soliciting and accepting bribes intended to influence his judicial decisions."

McGinty was accused of seeking and taking bribes of cash, car repairs and other favors from attorney Al Acevedo in exchange for favorable rulings for the lawyer's clients.

Acevedo has pleaded guilty in the case and awaits sentencing.

In the court filings, McGinty admits he accepted bribes from Acevedo who then paid for repairs to the judge's two Mercedes vehicles, in return for more lenient sentences for Acevedo's clients. The former judge also states he "took steps to cover up my dealings ... by failing to report the benefits ... on my personal financial statement for 2013."

Damon Martinez, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, said, "Despite Judge McGinty's obligation to fairly and impartially carry out his duties as an elected judge, he engaged in serious criminal activity."

"Individuals who abuse positions of public trust for private gain will be held accountable," said Christopher Combs, FBI special agent in charge for the San Antonio division.

McGinty, who stepped down from the bench in February 2014 amid the FBI investigation, is scheduled to be formally sentenced July 15.