After a sweeping indictment of Philadelphia traffic court, a judge in the federal court declined to drop a case involving ticket-fixing charges.
According to court record, there are six judges plus three others who were charged with traffic ticket scam, they claimed that there is no evidence to prove that they, defendants, received kickbacks and bribes. The lawyers of the defendants stated that in order to have a conviction for wire fraud or federal mail, money must be passed between hands.
However; Robert Kelly who is the U.S. District, stated in his ruling this week that the indictment alleged that money was lost by both city and state when the tickets were easily fixed for political allies and friends. He believed that this is enough evidence to bring the case to court for a trial.
After the indictment last January, the Philadelphia traffic court was placed in a very bad light – as cauldron of corruption and patronage.
Of the nine judges, three of them already gave a plea of guilty.
According to the indictment released by the U.S. Attorney's office Thursday morning, six of the previous or current Philadelphia Traffic Court judges were among the nine people involved with a ticket-fixing scam where the accusation was their giving of preferential treatment to certain ticketholders, as their relatives, friends or political allies.
Judges named in the case are: Judge Michael Sullivan; Judge, Michael Lowry; Judge Robert Mulgrew; Judge Willie Singletary; Judge Thomasine Tynes and Judge Mark A. Bruno. Others included are: William Hird who is the director of operation in Traffic Court; Henry Alfano who is the tow-company operator; and Robert Moy, a provider for translation-services.
Traffic Court judges or administrators were alleged to have given preferential treatment to local politicians, including their ward leaders, those who have strong political connections politically, individuals with influential positions in business, labor or industry, or high social standing in the community. Special treatment is also afforded for constituents, relatives, friends and associates.
The six judges already mentioned and Hird accepted that they have given preferential treatment due to past, present and future political support; also business, social, or other relationship with the recipient of the traffic ticket or opportunity to obtain some sort of personal benefit.
In separate documents from the indictment, the U.S. Attorney's office also indicated three judges assigned out-of- the county; Judge H. Warren Hogeland of Bucks County; District Judge Kenneth Miller of Delaware County District Judge Kenneth Miller and Bruno who were included in the investigation. All three were also hearing cases in the Traffic Court of Philadelphia. The indictment also included in the list is Fortunato N. Perri Sr., who already retired.
It also claimed that due to alleged activities, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia are defrauded of funds which the state and the City could use as its revenue.
The indictment stated all allegations including includes: wire frauds of 49 counts; mail frauds of 18 counts; giving false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation of five counts; perjury of four counts; aiding & abetting of two counts; and conspiracy wire and mail fraud against various defendants of one count.
If you have received a traffic ticket, please contact an experienced Philadelphia Traffic Lawyer to know about rules of the road. Protect right to drive legally