Suspended Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary resigns

Willie Singletary , suspended without pay.
Willie Singletary , suspended without pay.
Posted: March 01, 2012

Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary, suspended for allegedly showing a phone-camera photo of his genitals to an employee, has submitted a resignation.

Common Pleas Court Judge Gary S. Glazer, the acting administrative judge of Traffic Court, said Singletary submitted his resignation by iPhone.

Glazer said, however, that under state law, a judge must resign directly to the governor, so Singletary would have to resubmit his resignation to Gov. Corbett.

Glazer declined to provide the contents of Singletary's resignation e-mail, received this week.

Kevin Harley, a spokesman for Gov. Corbett, said no resignation letter had been received as of Wednesday afternoon.

Singletary's attorney, William J. Brennan, could not be immediately reached.

In January, Singletary was suspended without pay by the state Supreme Court, and the allegation was forwarded to the Judicial Conduct Board for review.

Glazer relieved Singletary of his duties after a female employee complained about being shown the photo, and after Singletary allegedly confronted her in an attempt to get her to withdraw the complaint.

Glazer took over Traffic Court in December after the Supreme Court concluded that some judges were letting "political sources" interfere with decision-making. At least three of the seven sitting Traffic Court judges have been called before a federal grand jury investigating the court's operations.

Singletary was elected in 2007. During the campaign, he was captured on video suggesting that contributors would get favorable treatment in his court. A video posted to YouTube shows Singletary seeking campaign donations at a 2007 biker rally.

"There's going to be a basket going around, because I'm running for Traffic Court judge, right, and I need some money," Singletary said. "Now, you all want me to get there. You're all going to need my hookup, right?"

In 2009, the Judicial Conduct Board reprimanded him but took no further action, noting that Singletary was not a lawyer and that he had not been elected when he made the remarks. The job of Traffic Court judge does not require a law degree.

In 2006, before running for office, Singletary established City of Refuge, a West Philadelphia church, where he served as pastor.

Before being elected, he had amassed dozens of traffic violations - totaling $11,500 - which led to the suspension of his driver's license until 2011. The license was reinstated, and he paid off his fines.


Contact Nathan Gorenstein

at 215-854-2797 or ngorenstein@phillynews.com.

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