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Friday, January 22, 2010

Judge Filmed Taking Cash

What Again?: Rookie Judge Filmed Taking Cash (Could Have Been Worse - FBI Says He Also Traded Sex to Fix Cases)
By The Associated Press - January 22, 2010

EL PASO, Texas — Prosecutors played video showing money changing hands in the federal trial of a judge in El Paso accused of offering court favors in exchange for cash and sex. State District Judge Manuel Barraza on Thursday was seen in the video, at his courthouse office, accepting almost $5,000 from the sister of an inmate facing drug charges. Barraza was arrested in April 2009, just months after he took office. He was indicted on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to a federal agent. The video included testimony from Sarai Valencia. FBI agents equipped her with a portable hidden camera and a body wire. Valencia was expected back on the stand Friday. Valencia testified, during cross examination, that she received $2,000 for helping the FBI build its case against Barraza.

BACKGROUND STORY:

District Judge Manuel Barraza charged with bribery
The El Paso Times by Ramon Bracamontes - April 3, 2009

EL PASO, TX -- The state suspended District Court Judge Manuel Barraza on Thursday afternoon, just hours after FBI agents arrested him on suspicion of taking money and sexual favors as bribes. "This is embarrassing," Barraza said of his arrest. "What concerns me the most right now is that I've embarrassed my family." A federal grand jury indicted Barraza, 53, on three charges of wire fraud and deprivation of honest services. He faces an additional charge of making a false statement to the FBI, whose agents arrested him at his house Thursday morning. In an interview outside the federal courthouse, where he posted $10,000 bond, Barraza spoke of the U.S. Constitution in relation to his case. "The great thing about this is that we have a right to presumed innocence," he said. Barraza, who was elected in November and took office Jan. 1, said he did not want to talk about specifics of the case against him. He said he had not hired a lawyer, and did not know about his status as a judge. "I want to remain on the bench, but I just don't know what will happen," he said. A letter sent Thursday afternoon to Barraza by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct stated that he was immediately suspended without pay. As a district judge, Barraza was to make $140,000 this year. In just three months on the bench, the indictment said, Barraza sought bribes from women and solicited a bribe from an undercover female agent, who helped the FBI build the case against him. Barraza's encounter with the undercover agent occurred Feb. 5, according to the indictment. He allegedly promised to intervene in a felony case filed against her friend. Barraza also said he would transfer the case to his court if the woman had sex with him, the indictment stated. Barraza allegedly gave her the name of a lawyer that she should hire. Then the law yer, not identified in the indictment, was to request that the case be transferred to Barraza's court. The criminal case was never moved to Barraza's docket, records show. Because of Barraza's immediate suspension, his caseload will have to be divided among other judges. Under Texas law, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct may suspend a judge from office immediately upon his indictment. Barraza has 30 days to appeal. Barraza will be arraigned at 2 p.m. April 9. If convicted, he could face prison time and fines. Ramon Bracamontes may be reached at rbacamontes@elpasotimes.com; 546-6142.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a fool. He should have been in New York where corrupt judges are covered. Right, Mr. Tembeckjian?

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the criminal of Bernadette E. Lupinetti, Esq. pays some of the judges in Orange County (among other counties)to award favorable outcomes in child custody and divorce cases to her friends and clients? I wonder if she gets a special commission to help enslaved children in particular the children been sexually exploited or if she is the main boss running the show?

Anonymous said...

that is funny, don't forget corrupt Senators!

Anonymous said...

Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of Crooked Lawyers and Judges, reminds his beloved flock to keep up their giving to his campaign coffers. Remember this kind of thing happens often in NY, but thanks to the benevolence of Saint Andrew, none are charged.

Anonymous said...

These two stories, the PA and TX ones, should make it clear that Judges are just as likely to be criminals as anyone else and should not be placed above the laws that everyone else has to adhere to?

This assumption that they are always right and have some sort of right to immunity (which is something the judges themselves made-up) is just more of the scams that they own.

Anyone know of any state that rights are actually protected?

I need to move.

Anonymous said...

Barzza, Barazza, "get Isaac", "get Isaac"!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This Fed Judge was trying to save money by cutting out the bagman. Now see what happens! In New York all the Judges have bagmen, so there's no problem.

Anonymous said...

Rookie is right, i guess he did not read the new employee handbook on how to take a bribe.

Anonymous said...

looks like Luisa may have to pay another female to set up Isaac, see if he goes for it....
and get a blue dress!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The Fix is In - the oversight doesn't exist! Where are the arrests? The US Attorney's and the Bureau don't do swat and get paid for it, nice gig dudes!

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2