9 judges charged with Philly traffic ticket fixing
By MARYCLAIRE DALE and MICHAEL RUBINKAM
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Get caught speeding? Running a red light? Leaving the scene of an accident? For years, it was no problem, authorities say - so long as you were in Philadelphia and knew the right people.
The city's traffic court was the place where moving violations went to die, according to a federal indictment that charged nine judges with fixing tickets for friends, relatives, business associates and political allies.
A "widespread culture of giving breaks on traffic citations" persisted in the city, federal prosecutors alleged, though everyday citizens were out of luck. Only the well-connected got breaks.
The defendants include six current and former Philadelphia traffic court judges and three suburban judges who had stints at the court. Among them is former Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary, who had been kicked out of office for showing cellphone photos of his genitals to a female clerk. A court clerk and two businessmen also were charged.