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San Antonio lawyer Alberto Acevedo says he bribed judge, got favorable treatment

Express-News Reporter Guillermo Contreras, who covers the federal courts beat, has been writing scoop after scoop about an FBI investigation at the Bexar County courthouse in San Antonio. The latest bombshell is a story about a plea deal for local defense lawyer Alberto “Al” Acevedo Jr., who lays out in excruciating detail how he bribed Bexar County District Judge Angus McGinty by giving him cash, paying for car repairs and selling the judge’s Mercedes for him:

“In exchange for these bribes, Judge McGinty provided favorable judicial rulings which benefited me and my clients,” Acevedo says in the court document. “Judge McGinty provided these favorable judicial rulings as requested, and as opportunities arose. These favorable rulings included leniency at sentencing and less restrictive conditions of release.”

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San Antonio lawyer AcevedoThe clients included a man who was convicted of DWI and sentenced by McGinty to three years imprisonment. In court, McGinty had said the defendant had committed so many offenses it didn’t make any sense to put him on probation. Yet after Acevedo asked him to reduce the sentence, the judge did just that and sentenced him to four years community supervision:

On Sept. 10, Gabriel A. Lopez stood before then-state District Judge Angus McGinty and received three years in prison and a $1,500 fine for his no-contest plea to drunken driving.

He admitted his blood alcohol level was 0.21 — more than 21/2 times the legal limit. It was his third driving-while-intoxicated conviction.

“There comes a time when someone has committed so many offenses that it doesn’t make sense to put them on probation,” McGinty told Lopez, 35, who appeared with attorney Leandro Renaud.

The judge noted Lopez had 11 prior criminal cases and had received probation four times, while three of those were revoked.

“That’s unacceptable, Mr. Lopez,” McGinty admonished. “I do not think probation is appropriate.”

But just three days later, on Sept. 13, Lopez stood before McGinty again, this time with lawyer Al Acevedo Jr. And this time, he walked out a happier man after the judge changed Lopez’s sentence to four years of probation.

“Mr. Lopez, when you were here last, and I sentenced you, it’s because I thought you had earned the right to go to” prison, McGinty said. “Your attorney has done a good job of pointing out some facts that I didn’t adequately consider before.”

In reality, the FBI has alleged, Acevedo had the good graces of the judge because he had served as McGinty’s personal car service — paying for repairs on the jurist’s two luxury cars with the expectation that the scales of justice would tilt heavily in favor of Acevedo’s clients.

Later, Acevedo’s law partner congratulated Acevedo. “I guess it does make a difference givin’, givin’ people money, right?”

Acevedo laughed. “Sure does,” he replied.

Other clients that benefited from the judge’s leniency included an alleged bank robber and a man charged with aggravated robbery.

McGinty resigned after word of the federal investigation spread but hasn’t yet been charged.

3 thoughts on “San Antonio lawyer Alberto Acevedo says he bribed judge, got favorable treatment

  1. I represent Lee Renaud and he is absolutely not involved in bribing, if such occurred, of Judge McGinty. You attribute the quote “I guess it does make a difference givin’, givin’ people money, right?” to my client. Please understand that the actual basis of Albert Acevedo’s plea agrea agreement is not the complete be-all end-all truth. The US Attorney’s office carefully hand selected what words they would use in Acevedo’s plea bargain. While I appreciate you covering this story, you need to know that Acevedo admitted that MR. Renaud had absolutely nothing with any bribery. I have physical evidence of such,so if you want to contact me, I will provide you with the indisputable evidence. Thus, while I know you are being “fed”by the feds, there is at least one innocent person in this case, and that is Leandro Renaud. Feel free to contact me if you wish to know about the evidence I am talking about.

    • Alex, thanks for the comment. If you have more information in the case, Either Guillermo or I would be happy to talk and look at your evidence. Thanks for visiting.

  2. I was a client of albert acevedo a few times, I’m sure he’s not the only lawyer that did things as said, the whole system is corrupt, any case- everyone knows money talks and bullshit walks.

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