DA seeks to drop nepotism case against TX judge

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA | May 17, 2011 | 4:14 PM EDT

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors in West Texas say they will seek to drop a corruption case against a state judge already imprisoned for a bribery scandal in which he requested sexual favors.

The announcement Tuesday from the El Paso County district attorney's office comes less than a week after it unsuccessfully prosecuted another judge in a related nepotism case.

District Judge Manuel Barraza was scheduled for trial May 23 on allegations he made an arrangement with State District Judge Regina Arditti to hire each other's relatives for courtroom jobs. A jury acquitted Arditti last week and she has returned to the bench.

Barraza was sentenced in July for scheming to obtain money and sexual favors in exchange for helping a woman who faced cocaine smuggling charges.