The Monitor Online Edition

User: Pass:
Registration | Today's Ads | Sample Paper
The Monitor
September 7, 2005 There are 305 people currently viewing TheMonitor.com
SEARCH
Advanced
SECTIONS
Local
Valley & State
Valley Life
Sports
Sports Extra
Business
The Monitor View
Up Front
Obituaries
Letters
Send Letter
Featured Publications
Festiva
What's Up
Weather
Lottery
Home
COLUMNISTS
Chris Ardis
Maria Luisa Salcines
LIFESTYLE
Body & More
Home Style
Weddings
MARKETPLACE
Photos
Coupons
Classifieds
Today's Ads
Place an ad
Homes
Jobs
Yellow Pages
AP NEWS
Top News
Olympics
World
Politics
Business
Stocks
Technology
Health
Entertainment
AP Radio
AP SPORTS
Sports
Football
Basketball
Baseball
Auto Racing
Golf
Tennis
Hockey
MONITOR FORMS
Anniversary
Engagement
Quinceanera
Weddings
CONTACT
Rates & Info
Subscribe
Monitor Application
Contact Us
About Us
Terms of Use
Privacy Policy

 
Print Print Email Email Bookmark Bookmark Translate Translate to Español

 
 
  More Opinion

red block A Lasting Impact: Rehnquist leaves a legacy of dignity
red block Finding the Truth: Help could lead to better relations
red block The Big Easy Future: New Orleans will be tested as it rebuilds
red block Blame Game: Coastal chaos the fault of all government entities
red block Political Paralysis: Hurricane relief effort is latest failure in leadership

 
   Opinion for last seven days

 Today
 Tuesday
 Monday
 Sunday
 Saturday
 Friday
 Thursday

  "Opinion" By Date
  A Year Ago Today
red block Abuse of Power Court rebukes prosecutors in terror case
 
Story Statistics
Emailed
 
Viewed
 
Judge in Delgado case should recuse himself
March 27,2005
The Monitor View

The ongoing legal troubles of state District Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Delgado raise enough red flags to equip a Soviet May Day parade. In the latest development, the judge presiding over Delgado’s case — whose courtroom lies just down the hall from Delgado’s — refused to step down from the trial.

Because he won’t recuse himself, state District Judge Bobby Flores contributes to the impression that his fellow jurist has received special treatment ever since his Sept. 21, 2002 arrest.

Edinburg police stopped Delgado after he ran a red light and drove on the wrong side of the road, according to the arrest affidavit. He refused to pull over, the document states, and when Delgado finally stopped, he refused several commands to get out of his vehicle and fell down when the judge did exit his truck. After his arrest, he was released into the custody of attorney Toribio Palacio, who also happened to be the municipal judge.

Police charged Delgado with driving while intoxicated and evading arrest; a grand jury later no-billed him on the evading arrest charge. Delgado was contrite at his arraignment, saying he made a mistake and embarrassed himself.

In September 2004, however, Delgado launched an offensive, suing the city of Edinburg, two city officials and three police officers. He said police were out to get him because of a previous $100,000 lawsuit settlement that the city paid him.

Then, in January, the visiting judge assigned to Delgado’s DWI trial threw out the case, ruling his right to a speedy trial had been violated. Of course, Delgado’s attorneys had stalled the case in the first place.

However, in February, another grand jury indicted Delgado on charges of evading arrest and misuse of official information. Because Delgado faces a felony charge, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended the judge Feb. 24.

On Thursday, District Attorney Rene Guerra’s office asked Flores to step down from the Delgado trial. "He and Delgado have been real close friends," Guerra said. Delgado’s attorney said he and Flores don’t socialize.

In a case that screams "local politics," you’d think the presiding judge would want to avoid any hint of impropriety. If a defendant lands in a judge’s court and the two happen to work together, the question of favoritism comes up. But instead of recusing himself from the trial of another judge, Flores says he will preside.

"You’re saying I would be biased, prejudiced?" Flores told assistant prosecutors at Thursday’s hearing. "If I do step down, I’m saying I can’t be impartial."

The judge protests too much. Instead of sounding so defensive, Flores should realize that such a sensitive case — a district judge on trial for a felony charge — needs to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. After all, the Hidalgo County Court-at-Law judge originally assigned to Delgado’s DWI trial recused himself. Flores did ask the presiding judge for the judicial region to review the DA’s request.

Judge Flores should reverse his decision and remove himself from Delgado’s trial. If that doesn’t happen, the regional administrative judge should order another judge to take over. Our justice system should be fair and impartial, even for a judge who is now a defendant.

 

emailEmail This Page

Your Name:
Send To:

SUBSCRIBE TO THE MONITOR





Top Emailed Stories
arrow Some Katrina evacuees adopting Texas as home
arrow Cooking with the heat of the sun
arrow Investigation continues into McAllen shooting deaths
arrow DOUBLE DUTY
arrow A Lasting Impact: Rehnquist leaves a legacy of dignity
ViewedTop Viewed Stories
arrow OBITUARIES
arrow Some Katrina evacuees adopting Texas as home
arrow DOUBLE DUTY
arrow EASY DRAINING
arrow Cooking with the heat of the sun
       
   

© 2005 The Monitor and Freedom Interactive Newspapers of Texas, Inc. Contents of this website may not be reproduced without written permission from The Monitor and Freedom Interactive Newspapers of Texas, Inc. All rights reserved.