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Former judge loses appeal in Texas bribery case

August 22, 2018

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A former Texas district judge has lost an appeal nearly three years after he was sentenced to federal prison for taking bribes from an attorney.

Angus McGinty alleged in his appeal that his lawyers, Alan Brown and Jay Norton, infringed on his right to effective counsel. McGinty alleged they convinced him not to cooperate in an FBI investigation because they were also suspected of corruption at the Bexar County Courthouse.

Brown and Norton have denied the allegations.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that McGinty had implicitly waived a conflict-of-interest claim, The San Antonio Express-News reported . The court found that McGinty was made aware of potential conflict issues before his trial and that the FBI couldn’t substantiate allegations against Brown and Norton.

McGinty’s court-appointed appellate lawyer, David Gonzalez, said he plans to appeal the ruling.

The FBI began a general corruption investigation at the Bexar County Courthouse in 2013. The investigation focused on McGinty after an FBI informant recorded attorney Albert Acevedo saying he bribed the judge. Acevedo agreed to cooperate in the FBI’s investigation and helped the agency collect evidence against McGinty.

McGinty resigned from the court in 2014. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to wire fraud and to accepting services from Acevedo in exchange for favorable judgments for Acevedo’s clients. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

McGinty began serving his prison term last year in Tennessee and is set to be released next year.

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Information from: San Antonio Express-News, http://www.mysanantonio.com

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