by: Guillermo Contreras
A lawyer at the center of a federal investigation into corruption at the Bexar County Courthouse and beyond has been charged with bribery, and plans to plead guilty to the charge, the San Antonio Express-News has confirmed as part of its own probe into the case.
As the state’s attention was on the primaries this week, federal authorities quietly filed documents here charging defense attorney Al Acevedo Jr. with bribing then-144th District Judge Angus McGinty, who resigned Feb. 14 amid allegations that he manipulated cases to benefit clients of Acevedo in exchange for repair work on McGinty’s personal vehicles.
Acevedo worked out a pre-indictment plea deal, and is to formalize it at a court hearing later, the Express-News investigation found. The federal judge assigned to Acevedo’s case had no comment when contacted by the Express-News.
Acevedo’s lawyer, Frank Perez of Dallas, also had no comment.
McGinty has not been charged.
McGinty withdrew from the Republican primary race for the 144th district bench too late for his name to be removed from the ballot. As a result, he got roughly 24 percent of the vote, coming in third, unofficial election results show.
Rumors have swirled at the courthouse about alleged corruption, leading to some false media reports, including about how the investigation began.